By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, has canvassed for blood donation from well meaning Nigerians and public spirited individuals for sustainability of the health sector.
Edu solicited for the donation yesterday in Calabar, while delivering a speech at the commissioning of a blood donor centre at the Department of Hematology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, Calabar.
Speaking on the theme: “Safe Blood Saves Life; Make For Healthier Society,” in a ceremony to mark the blood donor day, the commissioner emphasized on the need for people to donate to the blood bank in order to support the health sector in the state.
Insisting that no one can survive without blood, Edu stressed that inadequacy of blood in man depicts the beginning of the end for such man.
She said, “The need for safe blood is universal. Safe blood is critical both for treatments and urgent interventions.”
Edu, who doubles as the Chairman, Nigerian Health Commissioners’ Forum, stressed that with blood donated to the central blood bank, patients who suffer from life threatening conditions, stand a chance of being saved by medical experts attending to them without any hitch.
She added, “The blood donated can help patients suffering from life threatening conditions live longer, with a higher quality of life and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.”
Edu, who is also the state chairman of COVID-19 Taskforce Response Team, described blood as also being vital for treating those wounded during emergencies, which includes natural disasters, accidents, armed conflicts, with essential, life-saving role in maternal and neonatal care.
She averred that access to safe blood remains a privilege of the few, stressing that most low- and middle-income countries struggle to make safe blood available, because donations are low, coupled with lack of equipment to test and store donated blood.
While calling on residents of the state to voluntarily donate their blood to save lives, Edu said, “As we know, every year on 14 June, countries around the World celebrate World Blood Donor Day, WBDD, ours was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“UCTH, Cross River State government and other key stakeholders in the health sector are using the opportunity to raise awareness for the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, lifesaving gifts of blood.
“We commend the CUMSA class of 1995, for building and donating a magnificent Blood Donor Center to UCTH.”