Home News NIMR unveils blood hub, to promote voluntary blood donation

NIMR unveils blood hub, to promote voluntary blood donation

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

In a bid to promote voluntary blood donation in the country, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) has unveiled “Blood Hub,” a digital blood donor management system.

The Director-General of NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako who spoke during the unveiling said blood hub was initiated to solve the problem of blood donation and transfusion services using technology.

He said the initiative was made possible in collaboration with the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) and the National Centre for Science and Technology Management (NACATEM), among others.

Salako said: “We have a few researchers here who collaborated with other agencies, especially like NBSC, NACATEM, to look at how we can solve the problem of blood donation and blood transfusion using technology.

“They designed a web-based platform using Lagos State as a test example to see how it will work and how the platform will be validated before extending it to other states in the country.”

He urged Nigerians to embrace voluntary blood donation for the good of mankind and also enjoy the health benefit of donating blood.

On his part, the Director-General of the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC), Professor Saleh Yuguda, commended the initiative that was piloted by NIMR.

Yuguda, represented by Dr Ayoola Olufemi, the Director of Blood Services at NBSC, said the launch of the blood hub technology would promote blood donation in the country.

“This is a laudable initiative and we are happy to be part of it because it will connect people who want to donate blood voluntarily.

“NBSC is by law charged with the responsibility of regulating, coordinating and ensuring that Nigerians have access to safe and quality blood during blood transfusion.

“We will continue to collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure that Nigerians see blood donation as a civil responsibility and an act of saving life,” he said.

Prof. Vincent Osunkalu, the Head of Haematology and Blood Transfusion at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (LUTH), said the country had yet to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s requirement for blood needed annually.

Osunkalu delivered a lecture at the programme titled “Vital Lifeline: Redefining Blood Donation as a National Priority.”

“The WHO estimates that blood donation by 1 per cent population of a country is generally the minimum needed to meet a nation’s basic requirement for blood. Nigeria gets only 27 per cent of its annual blood needs leaving a shortfall of about 73 per cent of need every year.

“We need to do more as a nation to bridge the gap because blood is life and it cannot be manufactured anywhere except through voluntary donation,” he said.

Dr Olufemi Amoo, who is the Innovator of the research at NIMR, said blood hub would help to address inadequate data and insufficient blood pints in the country.

“The app is a blood donor management system that is a one stop shop for blood donation services.

“It will link donors to blood bank, the blood bank to the hospital and back to the donor, so it is a circle of end users.

“We will be able to have adequate response in time, minimise waste, increase voluntary blood donors and retainership in the country,” he said.

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