By SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The undisputed fact remains that blood is one unique thing that scientists have not being able to produce, hence for anyone that requires blood, there must be a donor.
Usually, the body system is programmed to produce the quantity and quality of blood that the system requires, except when the system become compromised from some factors.
As the world marks Blood Donor Day, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika, Zaria was not left out in observing the day.
Speaking on the significance of the day, the acting Head of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Dr.Ismaila Ibrahim said that blood donation stimulates the cells to be active and produce more.
He said there is increased risk of other health issues such as blood clots, enlarged spleen, stroke and heart disease.
According to him, there is destruction of blood cells leading to anaemia from malaria, sickle cell disease, infections, haemolytic disease in newborn.
Dr. Ismaila Ibrahin said the factors above and many more can present emergency situation that may require blood transfusion.
He added that factors above and many more can present emergency situations that may require blood transfusion and if there is no ready donor, the person would die as the quality of blood in the system is directly proportional to the quality of life.
Also speaking, President Medical Women Association of Nigeria Kaduna State Chapter, Dr. Alisa Yahaya said that apart from the satisfaction that a life has been saved, regular voluntary non-remunerated blood donors have opportunity of living a health life.
She said they have opportunity to be aware of their health status considering the screening that they would pass through before being allowed to donate blood.
Dr. Alisa noted that the donated blood would be screened (for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, Syphilis etc) to be sure that it is safe to be given to another person and the outcome would be communicated to the donor, this further gives a sense of satisfaction as it is not all donated blood that can be used for transfusion.
“So a blood donor whose blood can be used should count his or herself a healthy person”.
In his remarks, the programme coordinator, Dr Waziri Aliyu Dahiru, a Consultant Haematologist said this is an urgent call on the public to actively participate in blood donation and see it as a call to serve.
“People should be encouraged to donate blood regularly at least three times in a year. People who are regular donors should not be discouraged but rather they should think about the lives they are saving.
He said from experience, “I have donated blood to some people too and they are also aware that I donated to them; there is this sense of excitement whenever we meet ourselves,” he said.
Dr. Waziri emphasised that donating blood to save lives is a very good gesture and people must also realize that the red blood cells would last for only 120days in their system and using it to save life would be a better way instead of just allowing it to undergo destructive cycle.
“In as much as we call for more persons to donate blood, we are also encouraging people to live a healthy life style as well as getting early medical interventions to prevent emergencies.
“Accident prevention is very important and paying attention to our environment to prevent infection and infestation would also help,” he advised.
He said considering the activities of those that go for blood drive, the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) is taking the lead in Nigeria amongst other.
“Donating blood can also protect you from the effect of polycythaemia, i.e. having excessive red blood cells in the body, the blood becomes thickened and flow is slowed down.
“Such persons can have dizziness, headaches, excessive sweating, itchy skin, blurred vision, fatigue, frequent nosebleed, bleeding gums”.
Dr. Waziri said Blood donors have access to check their pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, haemoglobin level.
“The issues that would warrant people to need blood transfusion in our environment are very prevalent and the effort to encourage voluntary non remunerated blood donation should be sustained”. He added.
Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) President Kaduna State, Dr. Umar Musa who said that all hands should be on deck to see that religious, social, economic and cultural barriers to voluntary non-remunerated blood donations are adequately addressed.
He said emergencies do not give notice; the blood you would donate today can save your life tomorrow.
“Many of our people have died due to no access to blood and this can be prevented if we take a stand to make blood always available and accessible through voluntary and regular blood donations.
“Many people are in the hospital right now in need of blood, without which they would die,” he lamented.f