Minister calls for improved access to safe blood

National service pesonnel rest while donating bloodDr Victor Asare Bampoe, Deputy Minister of Health has called on all health facilities practicing blood transfusion therapy to improve access to safe blood and blood products from voluntary donors for its intended purpose.

He said research has shown that blood from voluntary sources is safer in terms of infection risk than other sources of blood hence the need to improve its accessibility.

The minister said this at an event to climax the World Blood Donor Day celebrations in the country.

Dr Bampoe noted that sustainable supply of adequate safe blood through voluntary blood donation is the only way forward and the surest way of eliminating the family replacement system where the burden of blood supply is placed on families rather than health systems.

He said voluntary blood donations is the only way to meet the goal for all countries to obtain all blood supplies from 100 per cent voluntary unpaid blood donors by 2020.

He said the theme for the day: “Thank you for saving my life,” reinforces the idea that if every healthy person gives blood, it could help prevent maternal mortality through hemorrhage, save a child with marked destruction of blood from severe malaria or sickle cell victims and others in need of blood.

Dr Bampoe said this year’s campaign also seeks to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries as part of comprehensive approach to prevent needless deaths.

He said the ministry is taking concrete steps to ensure that most Ghanaians develop the culture to donate blood voluntarily since blood is a drug and its efficacy must be guaranteed.

The minister also used the celebration to launch the “Moja App”, a new digital platform for smart phone users, where donors could interact with dedicated health professionals to offer free medical advice or consultation as a benefit for voluntary blood donors.

The cloud based app with back-ends makes it possible for the National Blood Service (NBS) to keep its stock replenished, search, march and conveniently contact inspired donors, in case of emergencies to donate to save a life.

Dr Justina K Ansah, Director NBS noted that the need for blood is constant and for many patients who need blood transfusion, a single donation could make a difference between life and death.

Dr Ansah said only one per cent of Ghana’s population are required to donate blood regularly and encouraged the citizenry to feel the need of donating blood to save precious lives. GNA

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