The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) on Friday organised a `Blood Donation Drive Day’ to boost voluntary blood donation.
The event was held in commemoration of the 2019 World Blood Donor Day with the theme “Blood Donation and Universal Access to Safe Blood Donation” and a slogan “Safe Blood for All”.
Mr Abubakar Abdullahi, IHVN’s Project Manager, said the event was held to ensure adequate and safe blood for Nigerians.
“Safe blood is blood donated voluntarily, and not by remunerated blood donors; the blood must be tested for transfusion transmissible infections which are HIV, Hepatitis B, C and Syphilis.
“The tested blood must be free of those transmissible infections before it is considered safe,” he said.
Abdullahi explained the key factors needed for safe blood donation by Nigerians.
“Once you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you can donate blood as often as three times for women, and four times for men as stipulated by the blood transfusion guidelines.
“Less than one per cent of the country’s population donate blood, and WHO recommends that every country should have about five per cent of its population donate blood.”
He, therefore, appealed to healthy Nigerians to come out en-masse and donate blood.
Helen Achimugu, Head of NBTS said an eligible blood donor must meet certain requirements.
“You must be between the ages of 15 and 65 years. As a lady, you must not be menstruating as at the time of donation.
“A potential donor must have haemoglobin of 12.5g and above, with a weight of 50kg and more”.
Mr Tunde Sunday, a donor at the event, said he felt satisfied to be donating, noting that this was his second donation this year while the third would be in the next four months.
Sunday said healthy individuals need to donate blood more often because it enhances the body’s immune system.