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Over 80 percent donated bloods in Nigeria are from commercial donors –Medical expert

A consultant Haematologist, Marcellinus Nwagu, on Wednesday said more than 80 per cent of blood utilised in Nigeria are received from commercially remunerated blood donors.

Nwagu made the disclosure at the 3rd quarter of the Ordinary General Meeting of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Edo State Hospitals Management Board chapter, in Benin City.

Speaking at the scientific conference with the theme, “Blood is Life: Appropriate use of Blood in Clinical practice”, he said there is high prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections (TTI) such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among commercially remunerated blood donors.

He noted that commercially remunerated blood donors pose a challenge to safe blood, and should be phased out to enable quality blood donation.

Nwagu who is also an Associate Professor, department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion in Edo University Iyamho, called for the speedy passage of the blood safety bill into law, to encourage people to donate blood voluntarily and to discourage commercial blood donation.

He further recommended a well-funded National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and extension of their services to States and Local Government Areas, for an effective blood donor system across the country.

He listed the benefits of blood donation to include prevention of blood shortage in old age, prevention of excessive iron deposit in vital organs, as well as prevention of heart disease.

Earlier, Victor Ohenhen Edo State chairman of MDCAN said the topic is very apt amid rising issues surrounding voluntary blood donation, blood transfusion and blood products.

He however, called on Edo State government to align with the federal government in implementing the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) fully by addressing the issue of skipping for the designated grade levels.

In his remarks, Patrick Okundia Edo State Commissioner for Health assured that the Obaseki-led administration would prioritise the health sector in the next four years.

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