The estimated blood needs in Nigeria is 1.8 million units per annum, the country’s health minister Isaac Adewole said in a statement on Thursday.

Amid the shortage of voluntary non-remunerated blood donations across the country, Adewole called on citizens to play a responsible role of giving the “valuable gift of blood,” especially during emergencies.

He said adequate supplies of safe blood units during emergencies in the Africa’s most populous country can not be overemphasized.

Voluntary non-remunerated blood donation accounts for only 10 percent of the total blood collection in Nigeria, according to the national data released by the government.

Family replacement donations and commercial donations account for 30 and 60 percent respectively, the data indicated.

Adewole called for a reversal of the present situation, saying the government was working for the country to attain 100-percent voluntary non-remunerated blood donation by 2020.

The national health ministry is currently working on a draft bill for the establishment of a National Blood Service Commission.

The official said when passed as an executive bill, it will create an enabling environment for the already existing National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) to thrive.

“This will grant the NBTS the autonomy it requires to carry out its mandate in consonance with global best practices,” the health minister added.

Marked annually on June 14 across the globe, the World Blood Donor Day raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gifts. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh