As Ghanaians anxiously wait to hear the result of their ballot at the general elections on December 7, the constant need for blood to stock our hospital blood banks) may be forgotten by many of us.
Collecting blood during the holiday season and for that matter any other important day can be challenging as many donors would be travelling or busily engaged with other equally important activities.
The need for blood during the month of December is critical and cannot be underestimated.
A recent report by the World Health Organisation has estimated that more than 1.68 million people worldwide, would be diagnosed with cancer this year 2016.
Many of these patients, the report further stated, will need blood daily for their treatment.
Currently in Ghana, the National Blood Service supplies over 200 units of blood and blood products every day to hospitals and clinics within Accra and its environs. With the expansion of health facilities and the increasing number of cases that require blood transfusion, the daily demand for blood keeps increasing.
On the average, an accident victim will require between 7-10 units of blood to survive.
The National Blood Service, Ghana is mandated to ensure the provision of safe, adequate and efficacious, blood and blood products, making it timely, accessible and affordable to all patients requiring blood transfusion therapy in both public and private health care institutions in the country. This objective can be achieved through the generosity of our voluntary blood donors and support of other stakeholders.
We can therefore ensure that every single life that requires blood transfusion therapy is saved if we all see blood donation as our civic responsibility. Every life is important and so no one should be allowed to lose his or her life as a result of blood shortage.
Indeed, – there is no better gift to a loved one this election period and the Christmas season for that matter, than to donate a unit of blood to save a life in an emergency.
This article serves to remind all of us as Ghanaians, that by taking few minutes of our busy schedule this Christmas season to visit a blood donation stand, or walk to the Blood Centre at the National Blood Service Korle-bu, to donate a unit of blood, we are contributing significantly to ensuring that other people live a healthy life with our gift of blood.
Sparing a few minutes to save a life is a worthy thing to do. It should not be considered as time wasting. A healthy person between the ages of 17 and 60 years can safely donate blood at least twice a year.
Blood donation never stops you from performing your normal day-to-day activities. You are however, advised to wait after 24 hours, if you will engage in any vigorous activity.
The National Blood Service needs about 170,000 additional donors per year to be able to maintain the national blood requirement of 270, 000 units annually. This calls for constant supply of blood to help treat different illnesses especially in emergency situations. For many patients, voluntary blood donors are a life-line.
We at the National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG) wish to indicate that, any of us or our relatives may need blood transfusion any time. We should therefore make it a point to ensure that there is adequate blood in stock in our hospital blood banks before the time comes.
The National Blood Service, Ghana is calling on all healthy Ghanaians, age 17 to 60 years, to step forward this December and make a resolution to become a voluntary blood donor. A resolution that is worth keeping – to donate blood to help save lives. As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure”.
Whether you are a small or large business organisation, institution, a club, association or consortiums, you can get involved in this life saving exercise. You can support either in cash or kind and you can as well organise a staff-based blood donation exercise. Our professional blood collection teams are ready to visit your work place to do the blood collection, once you have decided. Hosting a donation exercise could be part of your end of year, mid-year anniversaries or other eventful programmes you may have lined-up on your calendar.
You have the power to give life and you don’t have to wait till there is an emergency.
We urge all healthy Ghanaians to support blood donation drives.