Identifying the dearth of blood for patients requiring urgent transfusion in hospitals, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Sant Nirankari Mission, in conjunction with the Red Cross Societyof Nigeria, recently held its Annual Blood Donation Camp in Lagos.
The annual blood donation camp organised by the Sant Nirikari Mission, which is the 5th edition to be supervised by The Red Cross Society of Nigeria, witnessed large turnout of volunteers who turned out in large numbers with the sole aim of helping to ease the plight of patients in desperate need of blood.
Speaking on the sidelines after the blood donation exercise, coordinator of the NGO in Nigeria, Brig. Praveen Kapur RTD, while shedding light on the rationale behind the annual blood camp, said “Over the years we watched with keen attention the loss of lives at an alarming rate, mostly due to the non availability of blood for victims who needed urgent transfusion.
“This became very worrisome for us, making it pertinent that we get involved to save lives through this effort which started 5 years ago. As far as Nigeria is concerned, this is the fifth year in succession that we are organising the blood donation camp. We’ve had very encouraging responses in the past and we hope to continue next year”.
Praveen continued, “Today, both Indian and Nigerian doctor’s volunteer freely to this course helping us attend to donors and also most importantly certifying if blood being donated is suitable for transfusion and also on hand just in case anyone falls ill”.
Explaining the process, of the blood donation/transfusion, Praveen said, “Realising the delicacy of this blood donation exercise is why we have partnered the Red Cross Society of Nigeria to supervise the process, using the systematic process where in they test the blood pressure, grouping, weight, height etc. After all this is given the clear, the donor is then found suitable and fit to donate blood.
At this stage, all blood samples will be taken to Lagos State blood transfusion bank for screening, of all other infections.
Also speaking, at the event, Red Cross Co-ordinator Mr. Eka Solomon, lent his voice to Praveen’s statement saying, a lot of patient’s who could have ordinarily been saved have died because of the unavailability of it.
“Creating an avenue where their plight can be eased is no doubt a very noble effort that must be commended. Having said that, we need to encourage a lot more organisations, to also toe the line of Sant Nirikari Mission in this worthy attempt of saving lives”, he said.
According to Solomon, “inadequate awareness about blood donation is one of the biggest challenges still being faced by the Red Cross. A lot of people are not getting the information right or the education about blood donation”.
“We also encounter challenges when it comes to religious and traditional beliefs. Some do not support and believe in it. It does not matter what you tell those people, they will never support your programme. The other side is made up of those people who believe their blood could be used for ‘something else”.
Solomon further said, “In the light of this, efforts are being intensified to enlighten people more, so as to ensure that we are on the same page with them in terms of the facts which we believe could help change their conception and in return inspire them to support the course of saving lives”
“On the benefits of the blood donation to the donor, Solomon said “there are numerous benefits, many of which have been published in the newspapers by the WHO (World Health Organisation). The more you donate, the healthier you are”.
"Research conducted recently buttresses this point which states that once you donate blood, you live longer than those that do not donate. A donor who donates blood at least two times every year stands lesser risk of contracting heart diseases and cancer due to the fact that blood donation also stimulates growth in the bone marrow which helps produce blood at a faster and regular rate”.