The Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Bode Agoro, on Friday, led officials of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, partner organizations, and blood donors in an awareness walk to commemorate World Blood Donor Day 2024. The event, held in the Alausa-Ikeja community, aimed to promote blood donation and recognize the vital contributions of donors.

Mr. Agoro, represented by the Secretary of the Staff Housing and Loans Board, Mr. Abdulrafiu Fashola, emphasized the importance of the awareness walk and its alignment with the THEMES Plus agenda of the Lagos State Governor. 

“The walk, which saw enthusiastic participation from partner organizations like the Red Cross and MWAN, as well as voluntary blood donors, was part of a broader effort to encourage more people to donate blood. We did a walk around and were able to sensitise people and encourage them to donate blood voluntarily because we know that the essence of blood donation is to save lives”, he said.

Informing participants that the event also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC), Agoro said the milestone underscores two decades of dedication to improving blood donation services and saving lives across Lagos State.

Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya thanked blood donors for their selfless service to humanity and encouraged them to continue donating blood to save lives. She stressed the life-saving impact of blood donation and the need for continuous awareness, especially in countries where blood donation is not a common practice. “This is an opportunity to speak out, to do more awareness, to advocate for more people to become voluntary blood donors”, she added.

Dr. Osikomaiya noted that there is no substitute for blood, and ongoing donations are crucial to maintaining blood banks. “We have trauma victims, accident victims, pregnant women with complications, and patients with chronic conditions like sickle cell anemia and renal failure who need blood regularly to live”, she explained.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr. Oluwatoni Adeyemi, addressed common misconceptions about blood donation. “In this part of the world, there are actually so many myths associated with giving blood. It’s a misconception that donating blood will make you ill. We are, however, trying to correct these myths by spreading facts about blood transfusion”, she said.

Dr. Adeyemi also mentioned ongoing efforts to increase awareness and facilitate blood donation across all healthcare levels in Lagos. “This is an example of an awareness campaign we’re carrying out around Ikeja and Alausa, but it’s also happening at our General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres”, she said.

President of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Lagos State Branch, Dr. Funmi Ige, spoke on the importance of a supportive environment for blood donation. “The government is trying their best, especially the Lagos State government”. 

Dr. Ige praised the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee for creating an enabling environment for donations. “All public hospitals have a blood donation centre where people are encouraged to donate freely. It’s important because blood is life, and blood saves lives.”

She, therefore, urged more people to donate, highlighting the broad need across all demographics. “Children, pregnant women, adults – everyone needs blood and blood products”, she emphasised.

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