To commemorate the World Blood Donor’s Day (WBDD) 2016 which is celebrated every year on 14th of June, APIN joined, NBTS, SMoH, CHT Zawan and other stake holders in the State to mark the day. APIN as the lead IP in the state was dully represented by Mrs. Chidinma Stevens, other APIN Staff and representatives of APIN supported CSOs as part of our blood safety program.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Blood connects us all’ and focuses on recognizing Blood Donors and highlights the dimension of “sharing” and “connection” between blood donors and patients.
Highlights of World Blood Donor Day Celebration
The event comprised of speeches by invited guests and organizers of the celebration, key note addresses from the Hon. State Commissioner of Health and Hon. Minister of State for Health. A good will message from the chairperson of the WBDD the First lady of Plateau State Mrs Regina S. B Lalong ably represented by the Chairman of the Medical laboratory Scientists of Nigeria Dr. James Damen was also received. And finally good will messages and response from guests, organizations and individuals and awardees.
The organizations awarded with plaques are as follows: – National Television Authority (NTA), Guinness Nigeria PLC, Jos Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS) and Plateau State University (PLASU) Bokkos. Dr. Damulak O. Dapus the highest Male Donor in the North Central Zone (43 times) and Mrs. Grace Zam, the highest Female Donor (37 times) in the North Central Zone
The main highlights of the event were:
– Awareness Creation on Blood Donation, its importance and benefits
– Interactive session led by the zonal coordinator of NBTS Dr. Damulak O. Dapus .
– Presentations of awards to honor organisations and individuals who have contributed immensely to NBTS in the North Central Zone
– Awards to the Highest Male and Female Blood Donors in the North Central Zone.
– Introduction of Club 25 to all present and an invitation for new members
– Blood Donation by members of the public, college students and APIN staff.
The speech by the Hon. Commissioner of Health, Dr. Kamshak Kuden, represented by Director of Medical services, SMoH, Dr. Azu Martins noted the following:
– The definition of Blood Donation and its process of collection.
He stated that blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily his/her blood to be drawn and used for transfusion and or made into biopharmaceutical medications or of specific components directly (the latter called apheresis). Blood banks often participate in the collection process as well as the procedure that follows it.
– He stated that potential donors are evaluated by answering questions about their medical history and a short physical examination is done. Their blood is also screened using the Elisa technology. Screening is done for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B&C and Syphilis. In other countries, other prevalent viruses depending on the environment are screened.
– He emphasized its importance in the saving of lives especially in the cases of mass casualties.
– Dr. Kuden stated the benefits of donating blood to the Donor as the reduction in the risk of heart disease in Men; prevention of the accumulation of toxic quantities of iron overload as well as the reduction of blood pressure and blood glucose.
The speech by the Hon. Minister of State for Health, DR. E. Osagie Ehanire was read by the Zonal Coordinator NBTS, Dr. Damulak O. Dapus who also happens to be the recipient of the award, Highest Male Donor in the Zone.
– His speech highlighted the dimension of sharing and connection between blood donors and patients.
– He also emphasized the importance of the blood transfusion service as a key element of the health related Sustainable Development Goals.
– He stressed that blood transfusion plays an essential role in the provision of emergency health care e.g Women who have post-partum hemorrhage, children suffering from severe anemia, victims of road traffic accidents and so on.
– 50% of blood donations are from developed countries which are home to only 20% of the world population.
– He also stated that in 2015, up to 60, 385 units of blood were collected from voluntary blood donors through the NBTS network while 45,394 units of blood were issued to blood transfusion purposes in various hospitals nationwide. While 17,000 units of blood have been distributed to different hospitals by the North central zone of NBTS.
– He stated that there was an ever increasing need for safe blood in Nigeria and we will need an at least an estimated 1.7 million units per annum for our use.
– For an adequate and reliable supply to be assured, we need a stable pool of regular, voluntary, unpaid donors who are also the safest group of donors.
– The NBTS has stepped up its efforts to create greater awareness by building partnerships with Community Based Organisations and the organized private sector.
– On behalf of the federal Government he thanked the US government through PEPFAR and CDC for supporting NBTS in ensuring 100% screening of donor blood in a quality assured manner, using the 4th generation ELISA technology.
The Zonal Coordinator NBTS, Dr.Damulak Obadiah in his own presentation also emphasised the importance of blood donation giving himself as an example of its immense benefits. He has been able to reverse the progression of hypertension in his health.
– He explained that blood is donated free of charge and also issued to Hospitals or those in need free of charge. However, there was a service charge which is a token paid by recipients because of the cost of the ELISA Technology which is very expensive but the safest form of screening as well as the cost of storing the blood collected.
– The NBTS ensures only safe blood is issued to those who request for it. He emphasized unpaid blood donors do not usually involve in risky behaviors and so were the safest group of blood donors.
– The age range for donors is between 18 yrs-65 years.
– He reiterated that blood donation can be done every 3 months especially for me and that those who have just been vaccinated can donate blood but the blood will be screened for any nucleic acid from the vaccine before it is used.
– He stressed that 15% of Primary HIV infections are from blood transfusions and thus the more people donate, the more blood can be screened and status revealed and intervention can take place.
– He also stated that 65% of blood donated in developing countries was given to children below the age of 5yrs while it is mainly elderly people in developed nations who required blood transfusion.
– It is also noteworthy to know that arrangements/plans are on the way to establish more NBTS transfusion centers in other facilities/LGAs such as GH Pankshin and GH Langtang.
There was also a brief presentation by Club 25 which is a blood donors youth club established in March 2005. Its aim is to sensitize youth from the age of 18 to begin donating blood and aim to make donations 25 times before the age of 25. The club presented its branch officials based in the College of Health Technology and encouraged students to join them.
There were various goodwill messages from APIN supported CBOs represented, FOMWAN, CAACP, MASHIAH, a representative of the Head of Lab BUTH, representative of the CMD PSSH, the First Lady and appreciation messages from the highest male donor and highest female donor. Mrs. Chidinma Stevens representing APIN appreciated the organizers for their efforts in promoting voluntary blood donation; congratulated the recipients of awards and encouraged more people to be blood donors as part of APIN’s blood safety program.
The climax of the activities was a call from the Zonal Coordinator for all present to go out to the stands and make free voluntary blood donation. APIN staff present all made themselves available for the donation as seen in the pictures in the appendix.
Chidinma Stevens & Judith Gidado