Nigeria ranks bottom in blood donation worldwide

Human blood in storage

Nigeria has ranked the worst country in terms of poor blood donation culture across the globe.

This revelation was recently made public at a forum by Prof. Vincent Osunkalu, consultant hematologist, and blood transfusions at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba.

Osunkalu was a keynote speaker at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital 2022 World Blood Donor Day, where he delivered the theme of the three-day summit tagged: ‘Donating is an act of solidarity: Join the efforts and save lives.’

According to him, “whereas Americans donate about seven pints of million types of blood yearly, in Nigeria, data gathering is a challenge. The National Blood Transfusion Act has just been approved. From available information, Nigerians could only generate about 500, 000 pints of blood in the last few years which represents a 3.3 percent shortfall in the volume of blood collected from voluntary blood donors.”

Specifically, he said, “Of the 179 countries only 79 have become 100 percent compliant with the WHO standards in blood transfusion. Nigeria is not part of the compliant countries.

The WHO says that the target is that there should be 100 percent of voluntary blood donors. There is a need to eliminate some categories of donors that don’t fall into this space, especially commercial blood donors who come with a lot of risks,” he said, adding that “Donation of blood is an art of charity and it is best to rely on voluntary donors as against those who are mercantile. The greatest gift any individual can give to another is blood donation.”

Enumerating the importance of blood donation, Osunkalu said giving blood may lower your risk of suffering a heart attack, reduce your risk of developing cancer, better emotional balance, less the risk of depression, reduction in harmful iron stored in the body, among other several physical benefits.

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