By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) is partnering with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Lagos to increase advocacy for voluntary blood donation campaign and safe blood transfusion services.
The partnership is carried out under the aegis of the Lagos State Civil Society Participation for Development (LACSOP), according to information provided by the State’s Ministry of Health on Sunday.
Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya, disclosed this to newsmen after a stakeholders’ engagement held recently with various CSOs in Lagos.
Osikomaiya said that the partnership became necessary in view of the need to achieve the mandate of LSBTS to provide safe blood for transfusion purposes.
Osikomaiya explained that the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service is saddled with the responsibility of regulating the whole process involved in the blood transfusion chain; from collection, screening, storage, transportation and transfusion of blood and blood products adding that the availability of healthy blood for clinical use is considered sacrosanct by the agency.
The Executive Secretary disclosed that the LSBTS has concluded plans to commence automation of blood transfusion service processes including blood screening, storage, banking and transportation in order to ensure efficiency, speed and reliability in the blood transfusion chain. She added that this will also help ensure availability of safe blood for transfusion in Lagos State.
She said: “We are engaging Civil Society Organizations so that we can increase our service delivery. CSOs need to understand our mandate and modus operandi, we need their support to achieve goals of increasing voluntary blood donation, creating necessary awareness about the process involved in blood transfusion services and safety in line with international best practices.”
The Executive Secretary noted that the stakeholders’ engagement meeting with CSOs themed “Promoting a sustainable blood safety system” which was held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries Exhibition Centre in Alausa, Ikeja was geared towards educating and enlightening the CSOs about blood donation and transfusion services in Lagos as well as spurring opportunities, through suggestions, pledge and support for better service delivery by LSBTS.
“This stakeholders’ engagement with the CSOs was a no holds barred meeting that highlighted our success, challenges and opportunities. Through the engagement we were able to get objective criticism, suggestions, value driven ideas, support and pledges that would help us achieve our mandate. We will continue to engage the CSOs and also work closely with the private sector and other stakeholders to ensure availability of safe blood for transfusion in Lagos”, Osikomaiya said.
She expressed confidence that the productive stakeholders’ engagement with the CSOs will yield the desired results noting that through the civil societies, information and enlightenment on the processes involved in blood transfusion and safety including automation in blood banking services will become public knowledge propelling citizens to take informed action.
“We want the civil societies to know that they have the potential of increasing advocacy and awareness of safe blood and we are also ready to listen to what they have to say to us so that we can improve our service delivery’’. She noted.
Osikomaiya tasked all stakeholders and organisations involved in the provision of blood transfusion services to adopt, build and sustain quality services that will help ensure increased voluntary blood donation and availability of safe blood in Lagos State.
“I would also like to encourage citizens to voluntarily come out and donate blood. Blood donation is a selfless act that comes with lots of health and psychological benefits. Our blood donation centres located at General Hospitals are open to citizens who are willing to donate”, she said.
A Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist, Mr. Babatunde Okunnu, while presenting his paper on Blood Screening Processes urged all stakeholders in blood transfusion service provision to abide by the appropriate clinical use of blood and follow the basic requirements of blood transfusion.
Executive Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues; a leading CSO, Ms. Titi Akosa commended the Lagos State Government for its efforts at ensuring safe blood transfusion services in Lagos and engaging the civil societies in the quest to achieve better blood transfusion service.
She affirmed that the stakeholders engagement has put CSOs in good stead to advocate and promote voluntary blood donation and safe blood transfusion services which will help save lives in times of emergencies.