The Executive Secretary of Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS), Dr. Bodunrin Oshikomaiya has tasked the Agency’s stakeholders and partners to initiate innovative and inclusive strategies to improve and increase voluntary blood donation among residents of the State.
Speaking on Tuesday at the LSBTS Stakeholders’ Quarterly Partnership Engagement Forum, Oshikomaiya noted that finding an all-inclusive and innovative way to encourage voluntary blood donation, as well as increase and retain voluntary blood donors, is very crucial in the drive towards meeting the growing blood demand in the State.
She explained that stakeholders could explore and be innovative with various strategies for improving and increasing voluntary blood donation by involving public hospitals in the recruitment of voluntary blood donors; establishment of blood donor centres in easily accessible locations; establishment of mobile donor sessions; sponsorships of donor drive as well as strategic advocacy.
Citing the resolution reached at 2019 LSBTS maiden annual stakeholders summit, Oshikomiaya posited that an increase in advocacy for voluntary blood donation, especially at the grassroots and amongst youths in the secondary and tertiary institutions of learning, stakeholders’ awareness, media campaigns with production and distribution of behavioural change communication materials would, to a large extent, affect blood donations positively.
She said that the Quarterly Partnership Engagement Forum provides an opportunity for LSBTS and stakeholders to review strategies and discuss issues of common interest regarding the availability of safe blood.
“This forum affords us the opportunity to gather views and concerns on challenges confronting us in our drive to increase voluntary blood donation whilst also giving room for practical recommendations from key stakeholders on how to surmount the challenges”, she said.
Speaking in the same vein, a Consultant Haematologist at Alimosho General Hospital, Dr. Adebukola Ali-Orolu said that the quantity of blood available for transfusions is still a major concern, especially with regards to the demand for blood by under-five children and maternal health.
“To achieve safe and adequate blood supply, blood donation must be voluntary, regular and only through voluntary non-remunerative blood donation”, she added.
Those present at the Quarterly Partnership Forum include various development partners, non-governmental organisations, youth organisations, religious bodies, Institutes of Education, formal and informal organisations, Civil Society Organisations as well as media representatives.