SECONDARY SCHOOL BLOOD SAFETY CLUB (SSBSC) AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
World Blood Donor Day (WBDD), was established in 2004 to raise awareness on the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood. This is also one of eight official global public health campaigns recognized by World Health Organization (WHO).
Here in Nigeria, APIN joins the rest of the world to celebrate all heroes, unpaid blood donors across the country who through their gift of blood, have saved many lives.
Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year and according to World Health Organization (WHO) the safest blood donors are voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors from low-risk populations. In Nigeria the National Blood Transfusion Service promotes blood safety and voluntary non-remunerated blood donation in the country.
In taking the drive of safe blood donations further, Mrs. Helen Goyo, Head Donor Care Branch of the NBTS and now Founder of Secondary School Blood Safety Club (SSBSC) started a club. This club is to sensitize the young population about blood donation, its uses and benefits to the donor as well as the receiver of the blood. SSBSC is a catch-them-young programme to keep these young ones aware of these benefits before getting to the legal donation age of 18yrs and above.
To mark this year’s WBDD, APIN Public Health Initiatives supported NBTS to host the SSBSC On the 20th of July, 2018. Scholars from four secondary schools within the FCT metropolis along with the Coordinator of the SSBSC, Mrs. Helen Goyo had an interactive session at Wazobia FM Abuja. This is to create awareness on blood donation and its importance.
The students used the platform to appeal to other youths to join the club in their various schools to have better and wider coverage of awareness about the importance of free blood donation in Nigeria. They also appealed to eligible donors to continue the good work to attain the target of adequate blood supply to Nigerians.
The SSBSC club members also requested for more support from the Federal Government of Nigeria to further support the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) and make necessary provisions for her to make safe blood available for those who need it especially emergency.
The high point of the event was the interview session with the SSBSC club Co-ordinators and the SSBSC Coordinator. They spoke passionately on the importance of voluntary blood donation and that all adults from ages 18 – 65 should donate blood.
The schools in attendance were Government Girls’ Secondary School Dutse, Government Secondary School Tudun Wada, Government Day Secondary School Wuse II, and Government Secondary School Wuse Zone 3. All the schools are located in FCT, Abuja.
APIN is glad to be part of this initiative because according to WHO a blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system.
APIN Public Health Initiatives was represented at the event by Chisom Okonkwo and Adebowale Williams, while necessary logistics for this program was coordinated by Mrs. Olubunmi Amoo, Prevention and Community unit, APIN Abuja Office.