28 July 2021 By Florence Adewale
The Ministry of Health has pledged a robust collaboration with the Ministry of Finance to increase budgetary allocation towards ensuring adequate availability of blood in the nation’s blood banks.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire made the promise at the inauguration of the Apheresis Blood Screening Equipment in Abuja.
An Apheresis machine is a device which receives blood removed from a patient or donor’s body and separates it into its various components and returned to the body.
Dr. Erhanire who said the machine would go a long way to ensure more safe blood were available and reduce wastage stressed that the Ministry would not relent in its efforts to ensure more funding in the sector to guarantee better healthcare.
Also the Minister of State for Health Dr. Olorunmibe Mamora who pointed out that the country do not need commercial donors encouraged Nigerians to willingly donate blood.
“Some years back when I saw a patient with a sickle cell anaemia who required transfusion, the patient had been transfused with an infected blood some where, and ended up contracting HIV, through a commercial donor whose blood was not properly screened, therefore we want Nigerians to willingly donate you may be the one that will need the blood” Mamora explained.
In a remark, the National Coordinator, National Blood Transfusion service, Dr. Joseph Amedu who commended the National Assembly for expediting action on the National Blood Service Commission Bill said if signed into law, it would advance technology and production of blood components and plasma for medicines.
According to Amedu “The NBTS has conceptualised the one million save blood units initiatives to build a national strategic safe blood reserve with subsequent introduction of Automated Blood Screening; and using Apheresis Blood Component Separation System to mop up any excess safe units and give NBTS expanded range of blood products”
Other stakehders at the occasion pledged to contribute their quota positively to accelerate availability of safe blood in Nigeria.