14 June 2018

Nigeria: Healthcare Experts Canvass Blood Donation to Save Lives

Abuja, Damaturu, Lagos — As Nigeria joins in marking World Blood Donor Day, the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) has implored people to donate voluntarily to save lives.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IHVN, Dr. Patrick Dakum, said the day was an opportunity to create awareness for voluntary donation.

The institute organised the campaign in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS).

Dakum, who spoke in Abuja yesterday, said the day was used to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.

He said the body was targeting a minimum of 500,000 persons for blood donation around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Dakum lamented that many individuals are unable to donate blood due to some health conditions.

The IHVN boss said: "As experienced professionals we conduct tests for transmittable diseases before we determine whose blood to take or not to take.

"People also think that if they donate blood, they would need up to three months to recover. But this is not true, because apart from saving lives, new cells are produced to replenish the old ones, if blood is donated regularly."

Also, the Donor Care Manager, Abuja Centre, Jane Akubuiro disclosed that for a person to be qualified for blood donation, he must be healthy, weigh 50kg, and must not be a breastfeeding mother.

She added that such donor must also not be on drugs and should be from 18 to 25 years.

Meanwhile, Yobe State government has declared five local councils free of cholera outbreak, with a case fatality ratio of 3.7 per cent.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mohammed Kawuwa, said the state has not had any new case for over 21 days.

The Ministry of Health had reported the outbreak on March 28, 2018 in Gashua, before spreading to the affected areas, where it claimed 16 lives.

In a related development, a global in-vitro diagnostics firm, BioMerieux, has been disclosed plans to provide diagnostics solution to patient's health and safety.

BioMerieux, Country's Area Business Manager for English West Africa, Dr. Charles Sokei pledged their commitment to providing affordable diagnostics solutions.

He said: "With immunoassay, microbiology and molecular diagnostic solutions from BioMérieux, Nigerian healthcare professionals have a chance to join their global counterparts.

"These facilities would provide improved clinical diagnosis to patients, using systems which are designed according to international standards."

Chairman of DCL Group, local partners to BioMerieux, Charles Okechukwu Anyanwu, expressed the hope that the collaboration would improve disease diagnosis, while Vice President for the Africa Cluster, Sinde Chikete, added that it would improve public health and consumer safety.

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