Quality, Credibility; Lagos State to brand blood, register private banks

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By; Mathew Ukachunwa, Lagos.
Henceforth, certified blood for transfusion in Lagos State must bear the state’s logo in order to establish the genuineness, quality and credibility of such blood as well as register private blood banks.
Dr. Jide Idris, the state’s Commissioner for Health gave this order on Tuesday at an event marking the commemoration of this year’s World Blood Donor Day.
He urged families of patients to take note and report violators of this order to government.
Any public or private blood bank that fails to carry the logo on their products risks sanction, Idris said.
In addition, he declared that all private blood banks in the state should be registered with the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service for effective control.
The Health Commissioner appreciated blood donors, describing their gesture as “lifesaving gift.”
Blood services, he explained, is a community service.
He emphasized the need to create wider publicity and sensitization of the populace on the need to show commitment to regular voluntary unpaid donations.
Voluntary unpaid donation of blood translates to self-sufficiency in safe blood on 100 per cent voluntary and unpaid donation drive Idris stressed.
“We need to create wider public awareness on the need for regular unpaid blood donation and inspire young healthy people who have not yet keyed in to start donating with a view to have a robust blood bank.”
According to the Health Commissioner, voluntary blood donors are known to be the foundation of adequate supply of  safe blood due to Transfusion Transmissible Infection (TTI).
Voluntary donors, he urged, “can walk into any of the 21 public hospitals with blood banks as well as three standalone donor centres to donate blood.
The standalone centres are located at the General Hospital, Lagos; Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHET), and Alimosho General Hospital, Igando.
Idris said it is important for husbands of pregnant women to donate blood, because the women could have hemorrhage which may require them to need blood.
He disclosed that a cumulative average of 20,000 units of blood is required annually in Lagos State.
“In 2015,” he recollected, “32,619 units of blood were donated in public health facilities.”
4,175 (13 per cent) of the donors were sourced from voluntary donors, while 33 per cent and 54 per cent came from replacement and ante-natal donors respectively.
LSBTC was established on 1st June, 2014 with a vision to have a state where only safe blood is transfused in all appropriate health institutions, the Health Commissioner recalled.
This year’s World Blood Donor Day in Lagos highlight was with the placement of a blood mobile vehicle at Ikeja City Mall to serve  as an additional blood donation centre.  It will be available there three times in a week, he said.
“Courtesies are extended to voluntary donors and results of screening are handled with confidentiality,” Idris assured.

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