The Lagos State Government has commenced a voluntary blood donation chain campaign tagged ‘Each One Reach Ten’, aimed at evolving a lifesaving culture of voluntary donation to meet the growing demand for blood and the requirements of the State in line with W.H.O’s mandate.
The campaign with the slogan ‘Advocate, Mobilise, Donate’ is geared towards recruiting and retaining voluntary blood donors by ensuring that ‘Each’ individual is encouraged to ‘Advocate’ for voluntary blood donation and ‘Mobilise’ at least 10 more people to donate blood voluntarily at least three times every year.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign at the General Hospital Lagos, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services, Dr. Bodurin Oshikomaiya, explained that the campaign was initiated because of the urgency of ensuring the availability of safe blood and blood products for transfusion.
“We commenced ‘Each One Reach Ten’ blood donation chain campaign to fulfil our mandate of ensuring adequacy and ample access to safe blood in Lagos State, through strategies anchored on recruiting and retaining voluntary blood donors as the bedrock for safe and adequate blood supply in Lagos”, she said.
Emphasising the huge demand for blood and the need for voluntary blood donation, Oshikomaiya disclosed that about 37% of the population are eligible and clinically fit to donate blood, stressing that only about 10% of blood donated are from voluntary blood donors but there is always a patient in need of blood every two seconds.
The Executive Secretary noted that the State Government, through the Blood Transfusion Service, is constantly expanding and improving its blood transfusion programmes to provide safe and sufficient blood for clinical use through voluntary blood donors.
She added that the blood donation chain campaign is aimed at creating a culture to give as well as develop an altruistic and selfless attitude towards saving lives and providing all-inclusive, innovative ways to encourage voluntary blood donation.
While observing that the initiative will increase and retain voluntary blood donors to meet with the growing blood demand of the State, Osikomaiya stated further that the LSBTS has re-evaluated, re-strategised and re-invigorated its voluntary blood donation-drive activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She noted that campaign activities are now tilting more towards increasing the number and frequency of donation by walk-in donors whilst outdoor external mobile drives are being reduced to prevent and limit transmission of COVID-19 infection.
Applauding voluntary blood donors who go out of their way despite busy schedules in a bustling city like Lagos to donate blood in order to save precious lives, she appealed to new, as well as regular blood donors, to create a chain of blood donation by donating blood voluntarily, as well as encouraging 10 others to donate, so as to increase the availability of blood for transfusion, especially during emergencies.
In her words: “For us to move towards 100% voluntary blood donation, government, policymakers, health workers and everyone needs to be a part of this campaign. I would therefore like to encourage everyone who is healthy and fit and weighs above 45 kilograms, aged from 18-60, to join this campaign and give blood”.
“People in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, people who have given blood for other reasons, including through cohesive forms of donation, should begin to do so as voluntary donors”, Oshikomaiya said.
She assured that the government remains committed to ensuring best practices in health care delivery across the State, adding that Lagos will intensify its commitment to maintaining a secure and safe blood supply in Lagos.
The Medical Director, General Hospital Lagos, Dr. Ismail Ganikale, who was also at the event, applauded the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services for its professional values in the discharge of its mandate, commending various individuals, religious organisations and non-governmental organisations who have identified with the State in boosting the supply of blood.
Dr. Ganikale, however, encouraged all donors and various foundations not to relent in their efforts in boosting the supply of blood, assuring that General Hospital Lagos, as part of its compensation to all blood donors, is always ready to assist anybody who holds a certificate of blood donation in their own time of need.
“An accident by definition is not something that will notify you when it will happen. If blood is not available, how do we save lives? That is why we cannot thank people like you enough for what you do. We appreciate you”, he said.