… Commemorates Y2023 World Blood Donor Day Celebration with Awareness Walk, Symposium

Lagos State Government is working out modalities to subsidise the high cost of screening of blood products to reduce the burden of the cost incurred by healthcare providers, health facilities operators and members of the public, during blood transfusion process chain, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed this at a Symposium and Scientific Conference organised by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) to commemorate the Y2023 World Blood Donor Day in Lagos, held at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, explained that the cost of preparing a pint of blood for transfusion is a little too high for the public and healthcare providers to bear all alone.

The Governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye disclosed that the LSBTS is currently working out the modalities for the subsidy, to reduce the cost incurred in the process of grouping and cross-matching of blood products and transfusion process which is usually incurred by health providers who screen blood, health facilities who transfuses blood and members of the public who requires blood products.

Sanwo-Olu explained further that the Lagos State Government, through the LSBTS, is committed to ensuring wholesomeness and quality assurance in the blood supply and transfusion chain in the state, adding that the State government will not relent in ensuring the availability of healthy blood products for clinical use in health facilities, stressing that subsidising cost of screening of blood product will ease the burden of cost and increase the accessibility of blood products.

He noted that the Y2023 World Blood Donor Day themed, “Give Blood, Give Plasma, Share Life, Share Often”, is well thought out as it lends credence to the need for continuous and regular awareness of the importance of voluntary blood donation to meet the blood needs of the community. He added that voluntary blood donors should always be honoured and appreciated because the act of blood donation can be likened to donating an organ for transplant.

The Governor encouraged members of the public to donate blood regularly explaining that blood is an organ that replaces itself quickly without having a negative impact on the health of the donors, adding that the benefit of donating blood cannot be overemphasised particularly the realisation that blood donation can be the difference between life and death for someone who requires it.

He assured that his administration will not relent in putting in place strategies and policies geared towards ensuring that blood and blood products are always available at all times to those who require them and are transfused in line with best practices.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Bodurin Osikomaiya explained that the Y2023 World Blood Donor Day Celebration reaffirms the commitment of the present administration to a brighter future in the provision of adequate blood products in the State. She noted that the commemoration of World Blood Donor Day creates a platform and provides an opportunity to address challenges around blood transfusion services in the State to create an enabling environment that supports blood transfusion.

Dr. Osikomaiya commended all voluntary blood donors, stressing that the gift of blood offers the gift of life which can extend a lifeline to those who are battling illness or facing challenging medical and unforeseen emergencies, adding that their generosity has given hope and renewed hope of life to numerous patients.

She assured that the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services will continue to create awareness about the benefits of voluntary blood donation so as to dispel myths, implement safety protocols and continue to create innovative ways of improving the voluntary blood donation pool.

Professor Adedoyin Dosumu, a Consultant Hematologist who was the Keynote Lecturer at the symposium stressed the importance of putting in place hospitable and comfortable blood donor clinics to encourage and impress voluntary blood donors.

Professor Dosumu, however, advised that the State should be looking at extending its blood donation drive by educating Primary School pupils as well as students in Secondary Schools on voluntary blood donation as a universal education to prepare them to be future blood donors.

Earlier, stakeholders in the blood transfusion chain, development and supporting partners including the officials of LSBTS, World Health Organisation (WHO), Nigerian Red Cross Society, Association of Nigerian Medical Private Practitioners (ANPMP) and some blood donors held an awareness walk in around Lagos State Government Secretariat as part of activities to commemorate the Y2023 World Blood Donor Day in Lagos State.

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