NBTS targets 1m free blood donors

blood donation
FILE PHOTO: Blood donation
blood donation
FILE PHOTO: Blood donation

The National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS), targets about one million free blood donors to improve the nation’s safe blood units.

Its National Coordinator, Dr Omale Amedu, in Abuja on Saturday said that only 5 per cent of total blood donations in the country were made by voluntary donors.

The remaining 95 per cent were commercially provided, he said.

The NBTS boss said this had further exposed some blood recipients to the risks of infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C and others.

He said the one million free blood donors target would ensure sufficiency in blood supply for survival and improved health.

He added that the target was set under the agency’s “One Million Safe Blood Units Initiative’’.

Amedu said through advocacies in communities and various media platforms, the agency intended to encourage more people to freely donate blood to increase the nation’s blood reserve.

“This will not only provide adequate safe blood for the country but also serve as a source of raw materials for producing blood components and plasma-derived medicinal products,’’ he said.

He explained that through the NBTS 10-year strategic plan (2021-2030), the country would achieve improved blood services, one or two of Sustainable Development Goals and ensure Universal Health Coverage.

Amedu added that the implementation of the strategic plan would make NBTS a more effective, efficient coordinator and regulator of blood services and ensure access to safe blood.

The NBTS boss noted that this could only be achieved through increased budgetary allocation, adding that only N500 million out of the initial proposed N4 billion was appropriated for the agency in 2021.

Amedu said adequate funding would enable the agency to improve the nation’s blood supply, through the proposed establishment of the “National Strategic Safe Blood Reserve’’.

“There is a need for adequate funding to enable us to implement both the initiative of one million safe blood and the National Strategic Safe Blood Reserve,’’ Amedu stressed.

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