The Lagos State Government has revealed that the act of voluntary blood donation for clinical uses is a trait of responsible citizens, imploring residents to embrace the present administration’s integrated strategy of the voluntary blood donation drive.

The call was made by the Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr. Olabode Agoro, while receiving representatives of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC) at a Voluntary Blood Donor Campaign held recently within the premises of the Bureau.

The Permanent Secretary described the State’s voluntary blood donor programme as a responsive way of safeguarding the health industry in emergencies.

He affirmed that the provision of safe and adequate blood is an integral part of every country’s national health care policy and infrastructure, submitting that the establishment of the blood transfusion committee to coordinate all activities related to blood collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution, through effective organisation and integrated blood supply network, is impressive.

Agoro, represented by the Director, Administration and Human Resources, Mr. Murphy Owodeyi, explained further that the strengthening of the donor system and effective management, including care and counselling, has made the practice seamless across the metropolis.

“Without concrete recognition of blood transfusion as an integral part of the health care system in Lagos State, the infrastructure, the human and financial resources would not perform optimally”, he opined.

Encouraging civil servants to subscribe to the ideals of blood donation, the Permanent Secretary noted that blood supplies need to be constantly replenished since whole blood and blood components have a limited shelf-life.

In her remarks, the Senior Heath Education Officer, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, Mrs. Temitope Balogun, stated that the voluntary non-remunerated blood is a significant effort of the State towards ensuring universal access to safe blood and blood products.

Mrs. Balogun averred that a key coefficient in modern medical practice is the constant supply of blood and the most common source of the substance is from voluntary donors, emphasising that blood donation is also a healthy habit.

She maintained that an adequate amount of blood is needed in all health care facilities to meet the urgent need for patients facing trauma, surgery, cancer and other lifesaving procedures, including transfusion.

Reaffirming the commitment of the present administration to ensure an adequate supply of blood in hospitals, Mrs. Balogun noted that the State Government is keen on sufficient, quality and safe blood banks that will serve appropriate health care needs.

The Health Officer explained further that the blood transfusion services take cognisance of the emerging trends in the process of blood donation and would always ensure that a potential blood donor meets the minimum haemoglobin level before being allowed to donate, stressing that anyone between the ages of 18 and 60, weighing 45kg or more can safely donate one unit of blood, which is 350 ml, once every three months.

She appealed to civil servants to cultivate the habit of regular medical examination and take advantage of the health policies of the State government to ensure a healthy citizenry, especially its Health Insurance Scheme “Ilera Eko”.

The campaign was followed by free medical check-ups for members of staff of the Bureau and voluntary donation of blood by eligible officers.

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