FG to establish National Blood Service Commission

Professor Issac Adewole
Professor Issac Adewole

Minister of Health, Professor Issac Adewole has disclosed that his ministry has prepared a Draft Bill for the establishment of a National Blood Service Commission for the country.

Adewole gave this hint yesterday at a press briefing to commemorate the 2017 World Blood Donation Day, WBDD, in Nigeria.

He said that the bill which will be presented to the National Assembly will help to ensure safety of blood transfusion in the country.

The minister said, ‘’ A draft bill for the establishment of a National Blood Service Commission, is currently being prepared by my ministry for presentation to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, as an Executive bill.’’

‘’This will grant the NBTS the autonomy it requires to carry out its mandate in consonance with the global best practices.’’

‘’The NBTS will thus have a proper mandate to provide safe, quality and adequate blood in a n equitable and cost-effective manner to all people resident in Nigeria. This will be executed through a network of seventeen centres spread across the six geographical zones of the Federation, including the FCT’’, the minister explained.

He further disclosed that in Nigeria, voluntary blood donation accounts for only 10% of total blood collection.

’’Our limited data indicate that voluntary non- remuneration blood donation accounts for only 10% of our blood collection. Family replacement donations and commercial donations account for 30 and 60 percent respectively. This situation needs to be reversed as we move towards the attainment of 100% voluntary non- remunerated blood donation by 2020, he said.’’

The World Health Organization, WHO, Country Representative to Nigeria, Dr. Alemu Wondimagegnehu in his goodwill message called on the Federal Government to sign Blood Transfusion bill into Law and update the country’s Blood Transfusion Policy to ensure coordinated blood transfusion services in the country.

‘’ Many people die because of lack of blood and blood products, or risk infections when transfused with unsafe blood. The serious humanitarian crises facing Africa in recent decades have revealed inadequacies of national health systems in most countries to manage health emergencies, including the timely availability, security and accessibility of blood.’’

Wondi said that the 2017 WBDD’s theme which is ‘’what can you do? Give blood. Give it now. Give it often’’ is focused on blood donation in emergency situations, adding ‘’everybody can play a role in emergency situations by giving blood. Blood transfusion is essential component in healthcare.

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