A Consultant Hematologist, Prof. Suleiman Akanmu, on Friday, urged Nigerians to donate blood regularly because of its associated benefits.
Akanmu made the call at a programme commemorating 2019 World Blood Donor Day organised by the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), in Lagos.
The newsmen report that World Blood Donor Day was established in 2004 and observed by World Health Organisation (WHO) member states every year on June 14.
The day is observed to raise awareness about the need for safe blood donation, storage and other related issues.
The theme for World Blood Donor Day 2019 campaign is :”Safe Blood For All”.
Akanmu said: “Transfusion of blood and blood products help and save millions of lives every year.
“People need to know that it is very safe to donate blood and when they donate blood on regular basis, they have huge medical advantages.
“One of the huge medical advantage of donating blood is that the donor will never suffer from diseases related to excess amount of iron in the body.
“There are also mental effects of donating blood regularly which results to good physical well-being.
“Also, donating blood on regular basis helps the donor to break down fat in their body,’’ he said.
According to him, regular blood donation will protect the donor from diseases metabolism or metabolic syndrome.
“Consequently, people should not be scared of donating blood because we ensure that people do not jeopardise their life which means they must be medical fit and have sufficient blood,’’he said.
On why World Blood Donor Day is marked, Akanmu said: “Part of the major reason we celebrate the day is to let the people know the health benefits of donating blood regularly.
“We also celebrate today, to say thank you to individuals who have been donating blood voluntarily to save the life of other people.
“We want to use this opportunity to highlight the urgent need in every hospital that they must operate a full blood bank.
“There should be sufficient blood in hospitals in order to meet the needs of people who have hemorrhagic challenges, woman who kept bleeding after delivery babies, mass causalities bleeding to death and so on.
“Within a minute or maximum 60 seconds human being that is bleeding can die without urgent attention.
“There is a need to ensure that we put necessary system in place that allows our blood bank to always be prepared with stored blood.’’
A report says that awards were given to regular voluntary blood donors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba.
One of the awardees, Mr Ifeanyi Ugochukwu, a Real Estate Agent, said blood donation is part of service to humanity meant to appreciate God for giving blood freely.
Ugochukwu said : “Donating blood is a very good experience, anytime I donate blood, it gives me joy because I know I am saving lives.
“I started donating blood twice in a year since 2017; my advice to people is to donate blood regularly because we do not know who might need it.”
Also speaking, Mr Olalekan Jaiyeoba, a Clerical Officer, said he was motivated to donate blood regularly because he has special interest in people’s life.
Jaiyeola, who works with LUTH, said he had been joyfully donating blood since 2016 and has donated nine pints of blood.
“I always feel refreshed after donating; I do not mind donating everyday if possible.
“People should know that they are someone’s hero by donating blood,” he said.