By Asmau Ahmad
A Professor of Haematology at Edo State University, Musa Muhibi says Nigeria requires a minimum of 1.8 million units of blood yearly to meet the blood transfusion needs of citizens.
He made this known in his paper titled: “The Cycle in Blood Safety: Being Efficiently, Selfish and Effectively Generous” at the 7th Inaugural Lecture of the university in Uzairue, Edo state on Thursday.
The haematologist, who is the Dean, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, said that the rate of blood donation in the country is low, with only maximum of 10 per cent of donors.
According to him, majority of blood donations are from family replacement donors, some of whom are not adequately screened for blood-borne infections and other health conditions.
He said “Nigeria has one of lowest voluntary blood donation rates globally, with only 10 per cent of blood supply coming from voluntary donors.
“Also 60 per cent comes from family replacement donors, while 30 per cent comes from paid blood donors.”
The dean added that strategies aimed at promoting voluntary blood donation were needed to increase the availability of safe blood to meet high demand for blood transfusion.
This is because of the high maternal mortality rate and increased prevalence of infectious diseases and malaria, which required blood transfusion.
Muhibi said blood transfusion could save lives of patients in need and remained a crucial aspect of healthcare services, particularly in emergency situations and during medical procedures like surgeries.
The don said that factors affecting voluntary blood donation included fear of needles, lack of trust in the healthcare system, inadequate awareness, cultural and religious beliefs.
He called for public awareness about the importance of blood donation and the benefits of voluntary donation.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, said the lecture was organised to highlight the importance of promoting voluntary blood donation and sustainable blood transfusion system in the country.
He said “today, we are gathered to celebrate the achievements of one of our own who chose to share with us, his invaluable knowledge and expertise in the field of blood safety.
“I am confident that you will continue to make invaluable contributions to the field of blood safety in Nigeria.”