Kunbuor appeals for support for blood banks

he Minister of Health, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, has appealed to Ghanaians to stock the country’s blood banks to help save lives during emergencies.
He said the threat to life as a result of insufficient stock of blood called for total commitment of all stakeholders to the National Blood Programme.
Dr Kunbuor made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the 9th National Blood Donors Day and the launching of the annual blood donation campaign held in Accra last Saturday. It was on the theme: “Safe, adequate blood for transfusion, responsibility of every citizen.”
Statistics from the Ministry of Health (MoH) indicated that annual blood collections fell below 50 per cent of the national requirement of 150,000 units while total blood collections from voluntary donors in 2008 was 40,000, a far cry from the national requirement.
The day is set aside to recognise and honour regular voluntary non-remunerate blood donors whose continuous support kept the blood service running and provided hope for patients needing blood transfusion therapy in the country’s hospitals and clinics.
Dr Kunbuor said blood transfusion remained an essential component of health care hence the need to recognise the efforts of the voluntary blood donors who helped save the lives of many across the country.
He said inadequate blood stocks at most of the centres had negatively affected medical care in the various regions.
Dr Kunbuor stated that adequate blood for transfusion facilitated a reduction in child mortality, improved maternal health and helped combated HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
He urged Ghanaians to live healthy life styles to be able to support the effort of the National Blood Service and reminded donors that non-remunerated voluntary blood donations remained the sustainable way of stocking blood banks and increased the safety of the country’s blood supply.
The Head of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Dr Justin K Ansah, said regular voluntary donors were the safest blood donors.
She said a positive aspect of voluntary blood donation was that it reminded the donor to lead safe lifestyles and urged the public to donate blood so far as they fall below age 60.
She said the recent launch of the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality campaign placed a responsibility on every citizen to enrol as voluntary blood donors to help the campaign achieve its objectives.
Dr Ansah commended the Rotary Club of Accra for its role in the blood donation drive over the past 40 years through the provision of packages to reward regular non-paid voluntary blood donors.
Prizes were presented to regular donors.
At the regional level, Mr Patrick Yamenui, received a ghetto blaster as the first prize for donating 48 times, Mr Isaac Cobbina took home radio cassette player for placing second, while Rev Albert Asante received a standing fan as the third prize.
In the national category, Miss Joyce Kanyi from Accra took home a standing fan for being the youth donor.
A 21-inch colour television went to Mr Fawzi Ibrahim from Wa as the third prize, while Rev Samuel Amoakohene from Accra, received a single door refrigerator as the second prize.
The ultimate prize, a double-door refrigerator, went to Mr Ali Mohammed of Kumasi.


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