The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called for more funding of the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) centres across the country.
NMA President Prof. Innocent Ujah made the call on Monday, in Abuja, at a news conference organised by the association, in collaboration with the NBTS, to mark World Blood Donor Day, usually celebrated on June 14, every year.
Ujah said that the lack of proper funding of the NBTS had led to deficiencies in the quality of services offered by the organisation.
He lamented the inadequacy of the laws guiding the practice of blood transfusion medicine in Nigeria as they had resulted in the proliferation of quackery and other sharp practices in the sector.
According to him, state NBTS centres were worst hit since the withdrawal of donor funds by implementing partners, as state governments were yet to take full ownership of such centres in their domains.
He, therefore, recommended sustained positive actions by all stakeholders on making voluntary blood donation a culture, and for the state governments to take ownership of the NBTS centres under their jurisdictions.
Ujah stressed that improved budgeting and release of funds to the NBTS centres across Nigeria would give room for effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery.
The NMA president also called on all stakeholders, in the public health sector, to join hands and push for the speedy passage of the national blood service commission bill.
”There are some mind-blowing statistics about blood transfusion services in Nigeria that had made it imperative for NMA and all stakeholders to get involved in creating awareness about blood donation and transfusion services in the country,” he said.
He cited some of the challenges of the sector to include, low level of eligible adult blood donor population, low level voluntary blood donation, high level commercial blood donation, high rate of transmission of transfusion transmissible infection among blood recipients from commercial donors, among others.
Ujah said the NMA was delighted to join the NBTS and stakeholders, within and outside the health sector, in the celebration of 2021 WBDD which has as its theme, ‘Celebrating the gift of blood’.
He noted that the celebration highlighted the uniqueness of the selfless act of voluntarily donating blood and the need for everyone to take responsibility and act to support the drive, under the slogan: ‘Give blood and Keep the World Beating’.
“The NMA stands in full support of the NBTS and joins all voices of good reason to create sustained advocacy for a comprehensive improvement in blood transfusion services in Nigeria”, he said.
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