As the world marks World Blood Donor Day, a Haematologist and Head of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yenagoa Blood Bank, Dr. Eledo Benjamin, has called on residents of the state to donate blood in order to save the lives of those in dire need of it.
This year’s theme is “Give Blood and Keep the World Beating”, and it seeks to raise global awareness on the need for safe blood for transfusion and the critical contributions unpaid blood donors make to health systems across the world.
While speaking to journalists in Yenagoa, Dr. Benjamin said the availability of blood in hospitals and other health facilities is critical to reducing fatalities.
“If anybody is having anaemia, the implication is that there is a situation called hypoxia, which means low oxygen tension and it is only blood transfusion that can solve such a situation.
“This happens among pregnant women, little children and neonates. It is only blood transfusion that can save them. Today is set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to encourage voluntary blood donation.
“Blood has a life span of 120 days so any blood produced by your bone marrow today, if you fail to donate it out before 120 days that blood dies, so it’s even safer to donate the blood to those in dire need”.
A blood donor at FMC Yenagoa, Engr. Solomon Olali said the reason he was there to donate blood is to reduce shortages in hospitals and blood banks.
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He said he is touched by the predicament of those who were involved in accidents in need of blood and do not have access to it, therefore he tries to be of help to them.
Another donor, Chief Felix Seri said people die a lot because of unavailability of blood, including pregnant women, those who undergo surgeries among others.
He urged those who have it in abundance to readily donate it because having excess blood has its own disadvantages to the body system.