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SIGNIFICANCE OF BLOOD TRANSFUSION TO GHANAIAN MOTHERS

SIGNIFICANCE OF BLOOD TRANSFUSION TO GHANAIAN MOTHERS

Ghana joins the rest of the world as the globe marks WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY on June 14, 2014. It is a yearly ceremony on the World Health Organizations’ calendar for countries around the world to celebrate the day with resolve of purpose.

One of such purposes is to raise awareness of the need for SAFE blood and blood products and also to thank voluntary non-remunerated blood donors for their LIFE-SAVING gifts of blood.

The 2014 World Blood Donor Day is under the Theme: SAFE BLOOD FOR SAVING MOTHERS. Health experts have described the theme as very appropriate and timely especially at the time when countries all over the world are looking for solutions to the increased maternal mortality rate, especially in most developing countries.

The World Health Organization indicates that every day, about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. More than half of these numbers occur in sub-Saharan Africa.  The most worrying aspect of the report is that adolescent girls under age 15 are the most affected.

It is in the light of this that the National Blood Service, Ghana continues to appeal to the conscience of the general public to support the Service and Hospital Blood Banks in the campaign for more voluntary unpaid blood donors, who will constantly give blood to save the life of these vulnerable mothers.

Current estimates indicate that over 400 million pregnant mothers receive blood transfusion every year, followed by victims of road accidents, that’s according to the WHO.  In Ghana, more than 100 pregnant women are transfused daily with the number said to be increasing, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Korle –Bu Teaching Hospital has revealed.

Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is the major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability.

In 2013, The National Blood Service, Ghana supplied the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital alone with a total of one thousand, five hundred and eighty eight (1, 588) units of blood for transfusion, an increase in number over the preceding years’. The implication is that women could have lost their lives during childbirth if blood and blood products were not available at the time.

Unfortunately, access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products as well as the rational use of blood transfusion still remain major challenges in many countries around the world, including Ghana.

The objectives of this year’s global campaign is therefore focusing on Ministries of Health,  particularly in countries with high rates of maternal mortality such as Ghana, to take concrete steps towards ensuring that health facilities improve access to safe blood and blood products from voluntary unpaid donors for women in childbirth.

It is also urging all Blood Services in the world, whose mandate it is to ensuring the availability, safety and quality of blood products, particularly in countries with high rates of maternal mortality to focus on safe blood for saving mothers.

The National Blood Service, Ghana will mark the day with a number of activities including a public lecture, as well as radio and television programmes, in effort to reach out to the general public to educate them on the significance of the day and the need to respond to calls for voluntary blood donation campaigns in their respective communities.

Opinion leaders, religious leaders and all influential people in society are being encouraged to get involved in this campaign by helping in the education drive to encourage Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of donating blood voluntarily and regularly rather than waiting until a family member or a relative is in critical need of blood.

On this very important occasion, as the world celebrates World Blood Donor Day, the National Blood Service, Ghana would like to appreciate all our voluntary blood donors throughout the country for your love for humanity in making sure your precious gift of blood is always available to save other peoples’ lives.

Similarly, our gratitude goes to our corporate donors who have remained loyal to the National Blood Service, Ghana for years now. Let’s all be reminded once again, that blood donation is our civic responsibility, knowing that, the blood you donate today, will save someone else’s life tomorrow

BY STEPHEN ADDAI-BAAH

The Writer Is the PR & Communication Officer

For the National Blood Service, Ghana