As the world celebrate blood donor day today, the World Health Organisation (WHO), has expressed worry that the African region is not meeting its blood needs, as patients requiring transfusion are dying due to blood shortages.
This was contained in the World Blood Donor Day message by WHO Regional Director in Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.
She said although countries have made significant progress to improve the availability and safety of blood, the demand for blood transfusion is increasing.
She stressed that adequate supplies of safe blood can only be assured through regular, voluntary, unpaid donations.
Moeti, therefore,urged countries to support voluntary blood donations as a solidarity act for all, and to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programmes.
"I encourage ministries of health to put active measures in place to strengthen national blood services to enhance universal access to safe blood.
"Blood transfusion saves lives. It helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer, better quality lives, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.
"It has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency responses to disasters, as well as in road traffic accidents and injuries. Safe blood donations play a vital role in providing effective and prompt care for patients in need. This is how ordinary people can be there for someone else by giving blood and sharing life," said Moeti.