The Federal Government on Friday said the continuous use of rapid test kits to screen blood meant for blood transfusion in Nigeria was unacceptable.
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, made this known on Friday at the 2023 National Blood Donor Day Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s campaign, ‘Blood donation the real act of humanity; Donate blood, give smiles’, Pate, who was represented by the ministry’s Director and Head, of Teaching Hospital Division, Dr. Anuma Ogbonna, urged “all stakeholders to ensure that they fully comply with this government’s decision.”
He also said the government has commenced registration of blood service firms while celebrating blood donors across the country.
He noted that to ensure unhindered national access to safe blood and blood products, the ministry has been at the forefront of improving blood safety and availability in Nigeria.
Pate said, “We understand that a coordinated blood ecosystem, in line with the National Health Plan, will be needed to standardize quality and boost synergy for blood value chain optimization.
“This effort is in line with the promise of President Bola Tinubu, which seeks to use improved quality health outcomes to deliver on the Renewed Hope Agenda for all Nigerians.
“Indeed, an effectively governed blood ecosystem which ensures proper coordination of all activities related to blood collection, testing, processing, storage, and distribution at all levels is necessary to promote uniform implementation of standards and consistency in the quality and safety of blood and blood products.”
To ensure the provision of safe quality blood, blood products, and services to all residents in line with the National Health Plan, the minister stated, “The commission has commenced the registration of all hospital blood banks and blood establishments nationwide.
“This means all hospitals and blood establishments involved in blood services either; public, private or faith-based, at local, state or federal level are required to register with the National Blood Service Commission for effective regulation of their activities.”
Hailing the donors, Pate said, “An adequate and reliable supply of safe blood can only be assured by a stable pool of regular, voluntary, unpaid donors, who are also the safest group of donors since the prevalence of blood-borne infections is generally lowest among them.
“To grow a stream of regular donors, the National Blood Service Commission has stepped up its efforts at building community partnerships through the engagement of Community-Based Organisations and the organized private sector to create greater awareness as well as to make blood donation an integral part of their Social Responsibility programs.”
The Acting Director General, of the National Blood Service Commission, Eneye Suberu, said the use of blood and blood products has become “an integral part of modern medical practice and a significant building block for the achievement of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.”
Subaru stated that the campaign was aimed at bringing voluntary blood donation to the consciousness of the citizens through sensitization of public enlightenment activities and varied forms of media engagement.
“Voluntary blood donors come from all walks of life and the act of voluntary blood donation is the most precious gift that anyone can give. It is a gift of life.,” he added.
One of the highlights of the occasion was the presentation of the award to the best donor, Micheal Mzega.
Mzega donated blood 76 times, stating, “I started donating blood in 2016. My brother is a sickle cell and whenever his crisis starts, I donate blood so that he can live which motivated me till today to keep saving lives.”
Some Blood Safety Implementing partners presently include APIN.
Public Health Initiatives, the Shettima Ibrahim fellowship, Rotary District 1925, and the Young Doctors forum, among others.