Lagos State, Nigeria – In a bid to meet its yearly blood donation requirement and adhere to World Health Organization (WHO) standards, Lagos State plans to increase the number of donated blood units from the current 115,000 to 200,000. The initiative was revealed by Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, while reviewing the activities lined up by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) to commemorate the 2023 World Blood Donor Day, which will be held on June 14.
Dr. Ogboye emphasized that the LSBTS has already screened the available blood in the state. Additionally, the service produces blood components, such as Fresh Frozen Plasma, Cryoprecipitates, and Platelet Concentrates, from 90 percent of voluntarily donated blood. The decentralization of storage facilities has also been implemented to ensure better accessibility to the donated blood.
The Permanent Secretary explained, “LSBTS has adopted a hybrid of decentralized blood services at its blood collection, distribution, screening, and certification units, with a highly centralised post-collection blood processing, specifically component production, as well as regulatory, monitoring, and enforcement activities.”
Established in June 2004, the LSBTS has played a significant role in increasing the availability of safe blood State. Through the support of the state governor, the number of voluntary blood donation centers in public and private health facilities has increased, accompanied by the strengthening of the hemovigilance program to ensure safe blood processes and eliminate quackery.
LSBTS has also taken steps towards complete automation of the screening and certification of blood for transfusion and transmissible infections. Furthermore, they have implemented the Blood Inventory Management System and extended phenotyping of blood group antigens to reduce the incidence of adverse events during transfusion.
As part of the activities to commemorate the global event, LSBTS Executive Secretary, Dr. Biodun Osikomaiya, announced a three-day program. The events include a youth extravaganza, a facility tour for students of public secondary schools, and a symposium/scientific conference.
The youth extravaganza, with the theme “Count Me In: Each 1, Reach 5,” was held at the Red Cross Society Hall in Ebute-Metta last Saturday. On Thursday, June 8, students will have the opportunity to tour LSBTS facilities located within the premises of Gbagada General Hospital. The symposium and scientific conference, which will mark the culmination of the celebrations, will take place on Wednesday, June 14, at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja.
Dr. Osikomaiya highlighted the campaign slogan for the 2023 World Blood Donor Day, stating, “Give Blood, Give Plasma, Share Life, Share Often.” She emphasized the importance of secure blood and blood component supply based on voluntary donation, as it is vital for patients with various conditions, including post-natal hemorrhage, accident victims, sickle-cell anemia, and hemophilia.
Expressing the significant demand for blood and the need for voluntary blood donation, Dr. Osikomaiya noted that approximately 37 percent of the population State is eligible and clinically fit to donate blood. She also emphasized that someone is in need of blood every two seconds and urged eligible citizens to visit any of LSBTS’s dedicated donation centers, such as General Hospital, Lagos, General Hospital, Gbagada, the voluntary blood donation facility at the Accident and Emergency Centre located at the old Toll Gate, and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, to donate blood.
The efforts of Lagos State and LSBTS reflect their commitment to ensuring a steady and safe blood supply to meet the healthcare needs of the population while encouraging voluntary blood donation to save lives. Hopefully residents will be sensitized on the importance of voluntary donation and develop the spirit of compassion and solidarity within the community.