Lagos State Government and Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday, condemned commercial blood donation in the country, saying that it was against the Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donation, VNRBD, approved by the World Health Organisation, WHO.
Speaking at different fora to mark the World Blood Donor Day, WBDD, today, the state government and NMA, said though voluntary donation was low in Nigeria, donation for commercial purpose portended a great danger to provision of an effective and efficient blood transfusion system in the country.
At a briefing, Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, faulted blood donation for non-altruistic reasons, warning that the state would, if notified, clampdown on any centre that perpetrated such act in Lagos.
According to him, “The paid donor is likely to involve in other activities for money as well and will most likely not be living a healthy lifestyle. In addition, they stress the health system unnecessarily as the blood has to be discarded after the rigorous and strict screening process when the blood is found to be unwholesome. This is why we join the rest of the world every year in celebrating our voluntary donors who give the gift that saves lives on a daily basis.”
On the theme of this year’s celebration tagged: “Give the Gift of Life: Donate Blood” Idris lamented that “only approximately 8 per cent of all the blood transfused is from voluntary donations adding that it is a far cry from the 100 per cent target set by the WHO for the whole world to achieve by 2020”
On its part, NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said blood transfusion was a life saving procedure without which complex medical and surgical procedures, maternal and child health care activities and trauma care would not produce expected results.