National Insurance Commission launches blood donation campaign

The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has launched a blood donation campaign as part of efforts to stock the National Blood Bank. At the third blood donation exercise in Accra, Mr Michael Kofi Andoh, Acting Commissioner of Insurance at NIC said the Commission remained committed to ensuring availability of blood to the Blood Bank to save lives. Mr Andoh said the shortage of quality blood continued to have a negative effect on the country’s health system and its rippling effect on human lives, hence, the exercise as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. He urged players in the insurance industry and Ghanaians in general to come out in their numbers to support the agenda. He said, ‘We are not doing it for ourselves, we are doing this to support those in need of blood for treatment and to save lives, we do not know when we will be in need or who will be in need of blood at a particular time.’ Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyo, Medical Director, Greater Accra Regional Hospital, said despite the effort by organisations and individuals in donating blood, it was still not adequate in the facilities, adding that the health sector was in dire need for blood, hence, the importance of getting more people on board to save lives. Dr. Srofenyo said enough blood was mostly needed at the Maternal and Children Wards and Accident Centres, particularly the cancer Units to help with treatment and saving lives. ‘We need most of the blood at the labour wards, sometimes women deliver and then they start bleeding so much, that is when we need the blood to save their lives and accident victims.’ He urged the public and other organisations to emulate the shining example of the insurance industry to save lives. ‘We want individuals to walk to blood banks voluntarily to donate blood on any day and even on their birthdays, we are also working towards ensuring that we project and celebrate the effort of donors.’ Dr. Shirley Owusu-Ofori, Chief Executive Officer, National Blood Service said the country needed to have about 330,000 donors to donate blood in a year, however, such numbers were not achieved. She said ‘Last year, we got 179,000 units of blood, which is a little over 50 per cent and that trend had been like that for a while. Advocacy was picking up gradually and we recorded almost 200,000 units of blood until the effort was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, where mass gathering was prohibited.’ ‘According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the country would be safe if we had 10 units, per 1,000 population. We currently have about 5.8 units per 1,000 population and the situation varies per region,’ she added. She said the National Blood Service Act 2020, (Act 1042) gives the Board an opportunity to develop regional blood centres with trained personnel to be able to beef up advocacy and the collection of blood at the regions to support the sector. The CEO said the country only had three blood banks in Accra, Kumasi, and Tamale, hence, having blood centres in all the regions would help to have blood in abundance. The NIC is targeting to donate about 4,000 units of blood in the third round of the donation exercise to save lives.

Source: Ghana News Agency