By Eric Appah Marfo/ Abdulai Haruna, GNA
Accra, Dec 7, GNA — Fewer people are voluntarily donating blood, making it difficult to get the body fluid to salvage emergency cases, Madam Sophia Mellis Blankson, Senior Blood Donor Recruiting Officer of the National Blood Service, has said.
She said that while Ghana recorded 35 to 40 per cent of voluntary blood donations nationwide, its neighbour Togo had more than 90 per cent voluntary blood donations, adding that the country needed more to survive.
“Countries surrounding us especially Togo has more than 90 per cent while Ghana can only record between 35 and 40 per cent voluntary donation.
Hundred per cent voluntary blood donation is what the nation needs to survive,” she said.
Madam Blankson made these remarks during a blood donation exercise organised by the Melcom Group of Companies under the umbrella of the Melcom Care Foundation on in Accra.
She noted that the country needed 280,000 units of blood to match the country’s population of about 28 million per the last recorded population census.
Madam Blankson attributed the lower rates of voluntary blood donations to the insufficient level of public awareness on the need to donate blood, the fear of needles, and the disinterest from citizens when they realize there was no major incentive in stock for them after making a donation.
Therefore, she urged citizens, associations, corporate institutions to regularly donate blood to save patient’s life.
“If even one per cent of the nation’s population is donating blood regularly, it would prevent the shortage of blood and there would be no need to call a relative to donate on one’s behalf during critical moments. Let us bear in mind that today’s blood donor can become a blood recipient tomorrow.”
The Blood Donor Recruiting Officer called on government to empower the National Blood Service in its activities of reaching out for more blood donations.
She lauded the Melcom Care Foundation for being a regular source of voluntary blood donation to save lives.
Mr Godwin Avenorgbo, the Director of Communications, Melcom Group of Companies, said blood transfusion saved lives, but the lack of adequate stocks was a challenge to the National Blood Service.
As such, they had opened their doors at 22 different branches nationwide to participate concurrently in the blood donation exercise.
He said their previous collaborations with the National Blood Service yielded appreciable outcomes such as the donation of 434 pints of blood in 2013, 639 pints in 2014, 824 pints in 2015 and 1542 pints in 2016.
Mr Avenorgbo said Melcom was ready to help galvanise energies for the greater good of Ghana and thanked all voluntary donors and hospitals who assisted in the exercise and the National Blood Service for their cooperation.
Meanwhile, as part of the Melcom at 30 Anniversary, the Group provided institutional support to the Ghana Immigration Service by furnishing its new public affairs office at the Kotoka International Airport.
It also donated Motor Bikes to the Ghana Police Service to augment Police Patrol Logistics, and the sponsoring of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s Greening Programme.
Melcom donated prizes and support to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) towards the 70th GJA Anniversary Awards and IFEG Annual Awards respectively.
An office and Audio Visual Equipment was also donated to the Ghana National Fire Service, among others.