Rotary Club of Abuja Federal has called on Nigerians to voluntarily donate blood regularly to save lives and improve the health sector.
Dr Patrick Ezie, the president of the club, said this at the club’s annual blood donation drive organised in Abuja in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Aaodomeh Foundation, SAYIt Nigeria and Haima Health.
Ezie said that it was important for Nigerians to cultivate the culture of donating blood as “a larger pool of voluntary blood donors would be a win for all Nigerians”.
According to him, the country is meeting less than one-third of its blood donation need, which prompted the club to come up with the blood donation drive.
“The inspiration behind this annual blood drive is Baby K, this baby was brought during one of our medical outreach in 2018, which was organised in our host community, Piwoyi, here in Abuja.
“Baby K was brought by his aunt to the primary health centre where the outreach was taking place.
“Luckily one of the club’s member, a medical doctor was able to discern that the baby needed an immediate blood transfusion and make arrangements for the baby to be taken to a hospital where he received an emergency blood transfusion.
“Thanks to that transfusion, Baby K survived. This motivated one of the club’s member to look into hosting a blood donation drive, thus the annual Rotary Club of Abuja Federal Blood Donation Drive was born,” he said.
Ezie added that peace building and conflict, disease prevention and treatment as well as maternal and child health, were part of the club’s focus areas.
“This February happens to be peace building and conflict prevention month.
“Part of peace building and conflict prevention is ensuring an adequate blood supply to support those in need, Nigeria currently does not have an adequate supply.
“Under disease prevention and treatment, safe, accessible and affordable blood is a key part of healthcare in Nigeria.
“For maternal and child health, Nigerian women still die in childbirth due to unavailability of safe, accessible and affordable blood in the healthcare system,” he said.
He called for increased campaign on voluntary blood donation.