The Chief Nursing Officer, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Mrs Fatimah Adebisi, on Tuesday said that the myths created around voluntary blood donation were wrong and outdated.
Adebisi made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the Valentine’s Day Blood Donation Drive held in Lagos.
NAN reports that the voluntary blood donation, the 6th edition of the exercise, was convened by a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), Timilehin Leukemia Foundation.
Adebisi also told NAN that given the population of Lagos State, there was a need to have more blood banks to cater for patients in need.
“Blood donors need to realise that the myths that have been created around voluntary blood donation are wrong unacceptable and outdated.
“Some of the myth that donors might get sick after donating or that, there may not be enough blood in the system after the exercise, are all wrong uninformed narratives.
“There are standard procedures before anyone can be allowed to donate blood. We have strict processes before the exercise; not that blood donation is stressful, but we want to know the status of the donor.
“`A healthy man will have enough blood to spare in the body and it will also help the donor to know his health status as well, and that is the reason for health check before the exercise.
“Blood donation is highly beneficial and recommendable for all, because aside of the fact that it saves the lives of many, the donor himself has a lot to gain than what he thinks he has lost,” she said.
Adebisi added that the state of the blood bank in relation to the needs of the state showed that the blood bank needed adequate supply to cater for any emergency or treatment of patients.
“The population of Lagos is always increasing with many people migrating daily. So we need to be conscious of our need medically as well. It is however true that more people are getting the right awareness now.
“The benefits of blood donation are many without any side effect; blood donation can lower harmful iron stores in the body and also lower the risk of heart attack.
“Blood donation can also help to reveal potential health problems, help the mental state, burn some calories, increase the production of new blood cells and gives joy,” she said.
The convener of the Valentine’s Day Blood Donation Drive and the Chief Executive Officer of Timilehin Leukemia Foundation, Mrs Oyedele, tasked the government to ensure that the problems in the health sector were fixed.
“Government needs to fix the problems in the health sector because it is critical to the wellness of the people. We need to take this sector seriously.
“The high influx of our medical personnel out of the country which is being tagged as medical brain drain is worrisome, infact the health sector itself is bleeding right now.
“The citizens who cannot afford the medical bills outside Nigeria will be the one to suffer for this problem, so we need to do something about it before it gets out of hand.
“We have seen some improvement in the appreciation for blood donation, but we need more of this at least we should have a blood bank in each of the Local Government Area in Lagos State,” she said.
NAN reports that no fewer than 60 people participated in the voluntary blood donation held at the Textile Labour House, Acme Road and Mechanic Village Ogba. (NAN)