Dr Omale Amedu
By Justina Auta
The National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) says that all recipients of blood, regardless of age and religious beliefs, are protected by the law, as it is intended to save lives in an emergency.
The Acting Director General (DG) of the commission, Dr. Omale Amedu, made the point in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Abuja on Tuesday.
NAN reports that blood transfusion is the administration of whole blood, or its components, to replace large amounts of blood lost through accident, injury, childbirth, or disease.
Amedu, while reacting to some religious beliefs that prevent recipients of blood transfusions in emergencies, said the commission will follow established laws and procedures and ensure that blood is given in an emergency to save a life.
According to him, minor children in emergency situations who need blood will be transfused, regardless of their religious beliefs or those of their parents and guardians.
“We are a legal body and we will follow the rules set by the government to ensure protection for people who are unable to make decisions for themselves.
“There are rules that protect them, and so if something like this happens, we will follow the necessary rules to make sure they get it.
“The rules are clear: for a minor child who cannot make decisions, the government has the responsibility to make the appropriate decisions for him.
“The government is responsible for the welfare and health of its citizens, and when that happens we will enforce the rules,” he said.
He, however, explained that before any blood is transfused, he would be screened to prevent the risk of contracting certain diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and others.
Speaking on the responsibilities of the commission, the NBTS boss said the mandate of the commission is to regulate, coordinate and ensure the supply of safe blood and blood products.
He was, however, concerned about the lack of awareness about blood donation, which was causing a shortage in his blood bank to meet the needs of more than 200 million people in Nigeria, especially in times of emergency.
“There is a big deficit in the blood that we currently have in the bank.
“Having a population of over 200 million Nigerians, we should have a minimum of two million units of safe blood per year, but as I speak to you, we only have around 25,000 units of safe blood. in our file.
“So we really need Nigerians to volunteer and donate blood because you can never tell who will need blood and so we have to be prepared,” Amedu said.
He therefore appealed for more voluntary unpaid donors to donate blood that would save lives, improve their health and increase the country’s blood bank.
“Our goal is to ensure that the units of blood collected will increase from 25,000 currently to one million by 2023 and three million by 2030,” Amedu said.
The DG further described blood donation as an act of solidarity and urged Nigerians to join in the effort to save lives.
He also called on the media, religious and traditional leaders, as well as other relevant stakeholders, to raise awareness about the benefits of blood donation for the donor and recipients. (NOPE)
Edited by Kadiri Abdulrahman/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore