The Nigerian government Wednesday said it would declare state of emergency on blood transfusion to attract free blood donation in the country.

bloodPeter Ezemede, Linkage Focal Person for the the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) disclosed this to reporters in southern city of Benin, the Edo State capital.

Ezemede stressed the need for the declaration of state of emergency, saying it has become necessary as women giving birth, sickle cell anemia patients, accidents victims died as result of unavailability of blood.

He added that the high rate of pints of blood in hospital was making it affordable.

He said there is urgent need for the center and Nigerians to discourage commercial blood donation.

The focal person stressed that the commercial blood donors had made pints of blood very expensive at the hospital.

According to him a pint of blood is sold for 2,000 Naira (about 6.5 U.S. dollars) at NBTS, while in the private hospital it is sold at a higher price.

He called on the federal and state governments and well meaning Nigerians to give logistic support to the center to effectively carry out its educational awareness campaign.

The blood banking system in Nigeria is still poorly developed as a number of centers depend on paid donors whose hematological and infectious status may not be determined often times prior to blood donations.

With a population of over 170 million, the estimated blood needs in Nigeria is about 1.4 to 1.7 million units of blood annually, according to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH). Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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