During a Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja on National Blood Donor Day 2023, Prof. Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, expressed the Federal Government’s disapproval regarding the continuous utilisation of rapid test kits for screening blood intended for transfusion in Nigeria. In line with this year’s campaign theme, ‘Blood donation the real act of humanity; Donate blood, give smiles’, Dr. Anuma Ogbonna, the ministry’s Director and Head of the Teaching Hospital Division who represented Prof. Pate delivering this message, emphasised the significance of adhering to the government’s decision and requested all parties involved to follow through diligently.
As donors were being honoured nationwide, he highlighted that the government had taken measures to register blood service companies. Additionally, he emphasised the ministry’s commitment to enhancing its safety and accessibility throughout Nigeria, guaranteeing unrestricted national access to secure blood and related products. Pate acknowledged the importance of establishing a well-coordinated system that aligns with the National Health Plan. This system would not only ensure consistent quality but also enhance collaboration within the value chain, thus maximising its optimisation potential.
Good health and positive impact on citizens’ welfare will be accomplished.
President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the Renewed Hope Agenda for all Nigerians is being demonstrated through this endeavour, which aims to achieve better health results and positively impact the welfare of citizens. A blood ecosystem that is governed to perfection is crucial for maintaining a uniform synchronisation of tasks pertaining to collecting, testing, processing, storing, and distribution. This comprehensive approach ensures that standards are uniformly upheld and that both the quality and safety of its products are maintained consistently.
In order to guarantee the delivery of secure and high-quality blood, its products, and services to every individual in accordance with the National Health Plan, the minister proclaimed that the commission had initiated the process of registering all hospital blood banks and establishments throughout the entire country. It is obligatory for any public, private, or faith-based facility at the local, state, or federal level to complete the registration with the National Blood Service Commission. This requirement aims to ensure the efficient oversight of their operations.
A secure and sufficient stock of uncontaminated blood will be ensured.
Praising the donors, Pate emphasised that maintaining a consistent bank of unpaid, voluntary donors is crucial for ensuring a secure and sufficient stock of uncontaminated blood. It is within this particular group that the risk of blood-borne diseases tends to be the lowest, making them the most reliable donors. The NBSC is making significant strides in developing a consistent group of donors. They are actively seeking to foster relationships with Community-Based Organisations and the corporate industry, with the goal of spreading awareness and integrating donations into their Social Responsibility initiatives.
Eneye Suberu, the Acting Director General of the NBSC, emphasised the indispensable role that blood and its derivatives play in contemporary healthcare practices. He underscored their pivotal contribution as a crucial foundation for attaining health-related Sustainable Development Goals. Subaru conveyed that their intention for the campaign was to heighten citizens’ awareness about voluntary blood donation. This goal would be achieved through a combination of educational events, public enlightenment efforts, and utilising different mediums of communication.
The priceless gesture of donation was celebrated.
People from various backgrounds willingly donate, which is considered the ultimate contribution that can be made. It is a priceless gesture, as it literally grants life to those in need. The ceremony’s notable moment involved honouring the top donor, Micheal Mzega, who has selflessly donated about 76 times. Mzega commenced his generous act of donation in the year 2016. His brother’s sickle cell crisis motivates him to donate. Notable organisations embracing blood safety initiatives include APIN Public Health Initiatives, the Shettima Ibrahim Fellowship, Rotary District 1925, the Young Doctors Forum, and numerous others.