The National Blood Service (NBS) says it still records low voluntary blood donations, as the current state of donations is 37 per cent.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the NBS, Dr Justina K. Ansah, who described Ghana’s state as not being sufficient, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recommended that every country had in store one per cent of the blood of its population, as such Ghana needed 30,000 units of blood.
She said what accounted for the low level of donations was inadequate resources, infrastructure, support and finances.
However, she said the NBS was implementing a National Blood Supply Strengthening Programme (NBSSP) to increase access to safe and quality blood services in the country.
“The NBSSP has an ambitious target of increasing the proportion of voluntary blood donations from the current low level of 37 per cent to 75 per cent within the short to medium term (10 year),” she said.
National Blood Donor Day
Dr Ansah was speaking in Accra last Monday as part of activities to commemorate the 2019 National Blood Donor Day, on the theme “Blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion as a component of achieving universal health coverage”.
The annual event was organised by the NBS in collaboration with the Rotary Clubs of Accra and Accra-Ridge, aimed at publicly acknowledging and appreciating regular voluntary unpaid blood donors and other stakeholders for their contribution and commitment to a safe, adequate and sustainable blood supply in Ghana.
The event was also to launch the 19th Blood Donor Campaign to intensify advocacy on voluntary blood donations.
Increase blood donation
Dr Ansah touching on the NBSSP, said it would focus on expanding blood service infrastructure, intensifying advocacy and deepening collaborations.
She expressed commitment to work towards ensuring universal access to safe blood, adding that hey would soon establish a functional national blood supply system that would rely on regular blood donations by voluntary unpaid donors.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, encouraged the public, especially the youth, to voluntarily donate blood.
He said access to safe blood and adequacy of blood remained a big challenge, thus commended institutions such as the Ghana Civil Service, Food and Drugs Authority for supporting the NBS.
“The Government will continue to support the NBS with resources and infrastructure to facilitate voluntary blood donation and improve the availability of safe blood to save lives,” he said.
He called on the media to continue highlighting the importance of blood donations and the progress on blood supply.
The occasion was used to award donors and other stakeholders for their contribution and commitment to a safe, adequate and sustainable blood supply in Ghana.
The First, Second and Third national best donors were given citations and appliances such as chest freezers, microwave, home theatre systems, among others.
Mementos were also given to corporate organisations, senior high schools, tertiary Institutions and faith based organisations for their contribution to the NBS.
They Included the Silverstar Automobile Ghana limited, Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, Kaysen Group of companies, MTN Ghana Foundation, Blood vine Ghana, Ghana Institute of Journalism, Accra Technical University and the Presbyterian Church.
The rest were International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Osudoku Senior High School, Achimota School, Ada Senior High Technical School and Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission Ghana. – GraphicOnline