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Wbdd 2009 Speech (Hmh)

Wbdd 2009 Speech (Hmh)

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Published by: yombase on Nov 15, 2010
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02/11/2011

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SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OFHEALTH, PROFESSOR , ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2010WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY PRESS BRIEFING HELD ON FRIDAY11
TH
JUNE, 2010
I am indeed very happy to be amongst you today, on the occasion of the 2009World Blood Donor Day celebration.Every year since 2004, the 14
th
of June has been set aside by the World HealthAssembly to recognise and thank those who donate blood for altruistic reasons.This date has been chosen in honour of Karl Landsteiner who discovered the ABOblood groups in 1907. He won a Nobel Prize for this scientific feat, which has madeblood transfusions a key part of modern medicine since 1930.It is well documented that there is a higher risk of transmitting infections whenblood and blood products have been obtained from paid donors. It is for thisreason that the World Health Assembly passed resolution 28.72 of 1975, whichrecommends that member states, including Nigeria, adopt a well-organised,centrally coordinated blood transfusion service with quality systems based on100% voluntary non-remunerated blood donation.Testing of all units of blood donated is essential. However, testing alone is notsufficient to prevent transmission of infectious agents through blood transfusions,because of the possibility of laboratory errors, and the ´window periodµ ofinfection.Evidence from around the world demonstrates that patients who receive bloodfrom voluntary non-remunerated donors who give blood regularly, are at the lowestrisk of acquiring blood-borne infections through transfusion, because these donorsare motivated by altruism and have no reason to conceal any reasons why theirblood may be unsafe.Millions of lives are saved each year through blood transfusion, and in manycountries, including Nigeria, many people still die due to an inadequate supply ofblood and blood products. This has a disproportionate impact on women as aconsequence of pregnancy-related complications, children due to malnutrition,
 
malaria and severe life-threatening anaemia, trauma victims, and most especiallythe poor and disadvantaged.One of the strategies for ensuring the safety, quality and availability of adequateblood supplies is by the collection of blood from voluntary non-remunerated donorsonly.Around the world, millions of people owe their lives to individuals they will nevermeet; people who donate their blood to help others. But millions still cannot getsafe blood when they need it. Today provides a unique opportunity to thank thosespecial people that have voluntarily given their blood to save lives. We can alsoraise awareness about the need for more support from the good people of Nigeriato enlist as voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.The theme for this year·s World Blood Donor Day celebration is ´Achieving 100%Non-Remunerated Donation of Blood and Blood Productsµ. It places more emphasison improving the safety and sufficiency of blood supply. As more and morecountries achieve the goal of 100% voluntary non-remunerated blood donation,there is growing appreciation of the vital role of voluntary donors who give blood ona regular basis. Not only are they the safest blood donors, they are also thefoundation of a sustainable National blood supply that is sufficient to meet theneeds of all patients requiring blood and blood components.Through the commitment of the people and governments of both the United Statesof America and Nigeria, there are currently 12 operational National BloodTransfusion Centres spread over the 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria, up from thedemonstration Blood Centre pioneered by technical partners to the NBTS, SafeBlood for Africa Foundation in 2004. It is anticipated that by the end of 2009, 5additional centres would have been established, bringing the total to 17. The NBTSis committed to establishing one National Blood centre in each of the 36 states by2015, in the hope that the states will pick up the challenge and ensure thatmodalities are put in place to make safe blood accessible to all communities withintheir catchment areas. The successful implementation of a centrally coordinatedblood service through the political will of the various levels of government, willreplace the hitherto fragmented and unregulated blood service characterised by

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