Posted by Editor on Nov 29, 2017

The event was to publicly acknowledge and appreciate voluntary unpaid blood donors and other stakeholders who have shown commitment to saving the lives of patients requiring blood transfusion therapy across the country. The ceremony which coincided with the National Blood Donor Day celebration and the launch of the annual blood donation campaign also provided the platform for increasing awareness about achieving the national supplies based entirely on voluntary unpaid blood donation and emphasize the need for timely access to safe blood and blood products at all times.

Williams King Adamptey from the Eastern Region won the national best donor prize for donating 57 times and was rewarded with a citation and a double door fridge. Christian Ababio from the Greater Accra Region, who had donated 53 times voluntarily, came in second and was rewarded with a citation and a deep freezer, while Maxwell Yaw Anokye who had donated 51 times from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) was third and got a citation and a flat screen television.

At the regional level, specifically the capital, Samuel Amissah, 49 donations, Winfred Dugbetey, 46 donations, Sam Frank Kweitecco, 45 donations took the first, second and third prizes, respectively. They also received citations and gifts. Elizabeth Kpogo from the Greater Accra Region took the best female blood donor ward with 33 donations, while Richard Adzigbe took the best youth donor award with 29 donations. Dr Ernest Aseidu, Head of Quality Management Unit of the Ministry of Health (MoH), lauded the organisers for the occasion, indicating it was important as it serves as a reminder for safe blood collections from regular voluntary blood donation sources.

He stated that although it is right for voluntary donors to be celebrated, it is important to note that the country's blood supplies still fall short of the units required by patients who need blood transfusion due to over reliance on family replacement system. “I would, therefore, like to use this occasion to appeal to all Ghanaians to accept voluntary blood donation as a civic responsibility and a duty to our society,” he underscored.

He said a move from the family replacement system “will enable us redouble our efforts to attain the 100 percent voluntary blood donation target by year 2020.” “Government is committed to achieving this target by prioritising the passage of the National Blood Service Bill to provide the requisite legal framework to accelerate progress towards its achievement,” he disclosed.

Dr Michael Ebo Acquah of the NBSG, who spoke on the theme for the celebration, 'Blood Donation in Emergencies', added that adequate supply of blood during emergencies requires a well-organised blood service and a blood donor population committed to voluntary unpaid blood donation throughout the year. “Only 36.2 percent of the 160,624 units of blood collected in 2016 were from voluntary blood donors, the rest 63 percent were from family replacement donors which is often known to be a hidden paid system that compromises the adequacy and safety of the national blood supplies of any country that depends on it,” he said.

Dr Acquah explained that the country can move away from the worrying situation if just one percent of Ghana's population commits to donating blood regularly. Mr Adotei Brown, Past District Governor, Rotary District 9102, in his remarks as the chair called on stakeholders to think of innovative ways of sustaining voluntary blood donations.