By Justina Auta
A six-member joint committee consisting of personnel from the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has been inaugurated to create awareness on blood donation nationwide.
The National Coordinator, NBTS, Dr Omale Amedu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the joint committee was to complement its efforts in the provision of social services to Nigerians.
Amedu said the collaboration would ensure that the appropriate messages on blood donation got to people in rural areas faster.
He added that “the joint committee is made up of six members from both agencies. One of our objectives is to design a framework of partnership between the NBTS and NOA to disseminate messages on blood safety and voluntary non-remunerated blood donation to the Nigerian public.
“This framework is to inform, educate and counsel Nigerians on the need for safe blood donation to save lives, reduce death rates, and increase life expectancy and other human development indices.
“The framework is designed toward the realisation of the next level agenda regarding health in line with Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals,” the NBTS boss said.
He disclosed that the Director, Human Resource Management of NOA, Mr Kehinde Ogunkuade, would chair the newly inaugurated joint committee.
Amedu further said that the committee was expected to develop a tool for grassroots advocacy and community engagement for blood safety across Nigeria.
“Members of the committee are expected to forge a strong collaboration between NOA and NBTS toward achieving the mandate to ensure national availability and accessibility of safe, quality blood and blood products to all who may need it in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had said on the occasion of the World Blood Donor Day in June that about 24,483 units of blood were collected and screened from volunteer blood donors through the 17 centres of the NBTS network in 2019.
Ehanire also said that the country’s estimated blood need based on its population was about two million units per year. (NAN)