A professor with the Edo State University, Musa Muhibi, has said that Nigeria requires a minimum of 1.8 million units of blood per year to meet the blood transfusion need of its citizens.
Muhibi, a professor of Haematology at the university revealed this while delivering the 7th Inaugural lecture series of the University titled “The Cycle in Blood Safety: Being Efficient, Selfish and Effectively Generous”.
The don, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, said that the rate of blood donation in Nigeria is low, noting that only 10 per cent donates blood voluntarily.
He said the majority of blood donations come from families of patients, some of whom are not adequately screened for infections and other health conditions.
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He said that the demand for blood transfusion is high in Nigeria, as the country has one of the highest maternal mortality rates globally and increased prevalence of diseases such as malaria which require blood transfusion.
Speaking at the event he also added, “Unfortunately, the country has one of lowest voluntary blood donation rates globally, with only 10 per cent of blood supply coming from voluntary donors. 60 per cent comes from family replacement donors, while 30 per cent comes from paid blood donors.
“Therefore, strategies aimed at promoting voluntary blood donation are needed in Nigeria to increase the availability of safe blood and meet the high demand for blood transfusion,” he said.
Furthermore, blood transfusion is a crucial aspect of healthcare services, particularly in emergencies and during medical procedures like surgeries.
The don highlighted factors affecting voluntary blood donation in Nigeria to fear of needles, lack of trust in the healthcare system, inadequate awareness, and cultural and religious beliefs.
He, however, called for public awareness and education campaigns on the importance of blood donation and the benefits of voluntary donation.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor said the lecture became imperative as it highlights the importance of promoting voluntary blood donation and a sustainable blood transfusion system in the country.
The VC commended the Medical Laboratory Science Department of the university for the second inaugural lecturer this year and also for having a 100 per cent pass rate in their professional examinations.