By Hassan Zaggi
The World Health Organisations (WHO) has called on African leaders to support voluntary blood donations as a solidarity act for all and to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programmes.
In a statement to mark the 2018 World Blood Donor Day, the WHO Regional Director for the African region, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, charged ministers of health in the region to put active measures in place to strengthen national blood services to enhance universal access to safe blood.
She assured that the WHO Regional Office for Africa will continue to support all initiatives aimed at ensuring that safe blood and blood products are available for all.
Moeti, however, insisted that adequate supplies of safe blood can only be assured through regular, voluntary, unpaid donations.
“Blood transfusion saves lives. It helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer, better quality lives, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.
“It has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency responses to disasters, as well as in road traffic accidents and injuries. Safe blood donations play a vital role in providing effective and prompt care for patients in need. This is how ordinary people can be there for someone else – by giving blood and sharing life,” the WHO Africa regional director said.
While applauding voluntary blood donors for their contribution, she encouraged them “to continue giving this valuable gift regularly to ensure sufficient blood supplies for all patients.
“I congratulate and express my support to blood donor associations and other non-governmental organizations and all those who are working to make safe blood available in healthcare facilities.”