Concerns In Lagos Over Infection Of Patients With Diseases During Blood Transfusion
Lagos State government is taking steps to guarantee quality assurance in blood donation and transfusion, saying it is unacceptable that patients are infected with deadly diseases in the process of blood transfusion in health institutions in the state.
Akin Abayomi, the commissioner for health raised the concerns at the 2019 annual stakeholders’ summit of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS), Wednesday, where he reiterated the resolve of the government to ensure access to screened, certified, clean and quality blood for citizens especially pregnant women whenever it is required.
“I have seen a few patients that have been infected with hepatitis through blood transfusion or contaminated needles. Only a few months ago a friend of mine with sickle cell went for injection and she was unfortunately infected with hepatitis B, this kind of trend has to be eliminated,” said Abayomi.
According to him, the provision of clean, safe and fast availability of blood for transfusion in all health facilities as a measure against hemorrhage which is the leading cause of maternal and child mortality, has become imperative, as preventable deaths in women and children resulting from normal life procreation process caused by hemorrhage are unacceptable.
“In a place like Lagos where we have two teaching hospitals, 27 general hospitals and over 300 primary healthcare centres, we should not accept these preventable deaths. Lagos State shouldn’t be a place where we should be talking about maternal and child mortality rates and this is why we have declared zero tolerance for preventable deaths in mothers and babies,” he said.
Abayomi stated that blood should be viewed as an organ and not necessarily as a liquid adding that whenever blood is being transfused, what it signifies is an organ transplant to save precious lives.
While noting that the war being waged on HIV through the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency is yielding the desired results, Abayomi stated that the state government will be declaring war on hepatitis in 2020.
He, however, appreciated voluntary blood donors who go out of their way despite busy schedules in a bustling city like Lagos to donate blood in order to save precious lives, saying this would go a long way to spur other citizens to join in the heroic act of donating blood.
The executive secretary, LSBTS, Bodunrin Osikomaiya stated that LSBTS was resolute in its drive to strengthen the external quality control and proficiency testing in all blood screening centres and blood banks in order to ensure optimal quality of blood for transfusion.
She noted that it is only through recruitment of voluntary blood donors, screening of blood for transfusion, appropriate processing of blood, safe blood collection, safe administration of blood, periodic audit of blood banks and screening centres, and continuing medical education for health personnel involved in blood transfusion as carried out by the LSBTS that the challenges militating against blood transfusion can be overcome.