Poor govt funding paralyzes blood donation campaign in Northern Nigeria By; NICHOLAS DEKERA, Kaduna.
Strong indications have emerged that poor Federal Government funding is paralyzing the campaign for safe blood donation in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Reacting to the claim by some patients and stakeholders that the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) is only paying lips services to blood issues and should be scraped, the Zonal Director NBTS North West Zone, Dr. Ifeoma Ogbue wednesday confirm that the Centre actually lacks the required funds to structure the campaign for safe blood donation in the rural areas of the region.
According to Dr. Ogbue, who spoke with New Nigerian in her Kaduna office, “ministry of health gets one of the highest budgets, but it is mostly on paper, the application of such fund is poor”. She however noted that concerted efforts have been made recently by the North Western Office to woo religious leaders into the campaign which is appositely yielding result.
Earlier, some patients at the Doka General Hospital along Kaduna-Abuja highway lamented the shortage of blood for the accident and emergency wards of the Hospital.
Also Speaking, one of the staff who pleaded anonymity accused the NBTS of restricting their campaigns to urban areas only. “The NBTS which is the blood bank is not helping matters, you don’t see them, or even hear about them especially in the Villages. And these are areas where you have high concentration of blood related cases. If the Federal Ministry can’t checkmate the NBTS then it should be scraped’’
At the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, an anti-natal patient Hadiza Sani maintained that “the Hospital is now forcing us to bring our husbands or relatives to donate blood or else we will not be attended to, but some of us have issues and cannot donate, neither can our husbands donate. I think NBTS should not force their job on people like that, they should live up to their expectation”
More so, James Bulus, formerly of the NYSC Life Savers club, said, “the NBTS relies solidly on Corps Members for rural campaign and other campaign strategies, but the Health Ministry must realize that without blood, there is no health and so, funding for NBTS should be paramount because as an insider I can tell you that the NBTS has very little resources available for publicity and campaign programmes”