Donate Blood to Save Lives, PSN-YPG Urges Nigerians

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Donate Blood to Save Lives, PSN-YPG Urges Nigerians
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The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Young Pharmacists Group (PSN-YPG), Lagos State Chapter, has charged Nigerians to donate adequate and safe blood in order to save the lives of people with different ailments, especially to meet emergency needs for blood.

The association made this call during a program tagged “Call For Volunteers For Blood Donation Drive”, which was part of the weeklong PSN/YPG Week, themed “Advancement of the Profession: Building Competency and Skills Amongst Young Pharmacists”, held at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos.

Speaking on the rationale behind the yearly event, Pharm. Bukunola Ogundele, the Lagos State coordinator PSN-YPG, said Pharmacy is a very versatile profession with skills and knowledge that are of relevance to numerous sectors, noting that the medical outreach and blood donation was conducted to reach out to patients especially inpatients that cannot afford to buy blood and medications.

According to her “We are doing a blood drive to get donors for these sets of people that cannot afford to buy blood as well as drugs. Also, we are running concurrently a free medical check which includes blood pressure and malaria testing to random people, not necessarily people on sick beds but people around the hospital who can also benefit from that.

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“PSN-YPG is quite big in giving back to the community and sometimes selecting the kind of people we give back to can be difficult. We just told ourselves that this year we have to do something different and not just the random free medical testing. We picked a location and looked at people that really need this help in hospitals and that is why we decided to come up with this edition of our medical outreach which we do every year but this is specific for inpatients this year”.

Speaking on the reason for including blood donation as part of this year’s event, the PPSN-YPG leader noted that the group was moved by the rate at which people in dire need of blood don’t get to access it at the right time, that the best, adequate and safe blood is the one generally collected from voluntary blood donors because they are doing it voluntarily and not for money.

Ogundele said a blood donor could be a male or female but must have enough blood within him or her to donate. “The blood when collected can be separated into different components and it will be usually screened before it is used. Professionally, it is necessary to screen donors for different ailments before they donate blood, therefore safe blood is needed in order to prevent unnecessary deaths among patients.

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Pharm. Desmond Udoji, the coordinator of the Public Health Committee, noted that there is a need for a paradigm shift in the pharmaceutical sector and that young pharmacists are the ones that have come to implement the shift. “Most people donate blood just for money’s sake but we also want to let people know that you can also donate blood for the sake of humanity. The importance of this act of charity goes a very long way during emergency and child delivery”, he said

He explained that the free healthcare outreach featured point-of-care testing, free consultation, pharmaceutical care, free medications, health awareness, as well as a free malaria test.“We are having a blood donation drive, sensitization awareness campaign, free meditation, and free blood pressure checks for inpatients, outpatients, and those who are just around the hospital.

“The blood drive is peculiar this year because, from the previous PSN/YPG week, we have not been having something like this, but the reason for it this year is because of the demand. According to the Red Cross Society, only 3 percent of people who are eligible to donate blood do donate and that is a very surprising statistic, as just 3 percent donate in a whole year in the whole world. It means that there are lots of people who need this blood but they can’t get it. It is one of the reasons why we are really pushing for this”.

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While speaking, one of the donors, Pharm. Abiodun Olumide said it has been his habit to donate blood since his school days, adding that he charged between N10, 000 to N20, 000, for a pant of blood, depending on the bargaining techniques. “But for the past 4 to 5 years now, I have switched to free donation and I do it every year without getting any money for it as I no longer see it as an avenue to make money, but to help people”.

Another donor, Pharm. Daniel Ishiaku, disclosed how passionate he is about blood donation, adding that he first donated during his internship, and since then, it has been his usual practice.

 

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