She said despite series of intense advocacy and awareness campaigns the quantity of blood stored by the National Blood Service across the country is still very low .Speaking to the Daily Graphic at a blood awareness walk she jointly organised with the National Blood Service Ghana in Accra last Saturday, said the walk was an initiative she introduced in commemoration of her 40th birthday two years ago which falls in the month of March.
Dubbed “The March March Campaign,” the initiative was designed to associate blood donation to happy moments, anniversaries as well as bringing people together to donate and share positive experiences with blood donation.
According to her, although blood donation awareness was picking up in other regions of the country, there was the need for more advocacy campaigns adding that “there was nothing like too much awareness we just need to keep drumming it because even those who know about it, we need to keep on reminding them.”
“I think that the awareness is coming up quite slowly as compared to previous years where people did not really know about it but we still need to spark the conversation and create an atmosphere where people can ask the relevant questions”, she said.
“The blood donation awareness walk was also a platform to emphasize the need for people to continue donating blood, in commemoration of her birthday”, she said.
The occasion targeted both current and potential donors while projecting blood donation in a positive light as part of the walk.
The highly patronised walk, which started from the Ayi Mensah Police Station in Accra, to Peduase in Aburi, saw hundreds of corporate institutions, families, schools and habitual walkers on that route participating in branded T-Shirts with various campaign messages on it.
Some of the message read, “I’m a proud voluntary donor”, “Be there for someo ne else”, “Give Blood, Save life”, “Vegetarians can donate blood”, “One pint of blood can help save up to 3 lives”, “You can safely give blood once every 4 months” among others.
The campaign was also characterised with series of activities including outdoor games such as “Oware” and “Ludo games” as individuals and students from the Ghanata Senior High School also joined the team at Peduase to donate blood.
The walk was also supported by the Lele Group and the Kaysens Group of companies.
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Blood Service, Ghana, Dr Justina Ansah also emphasised on the need to create more awareness and sensitise people to donate blood to help stock the blood bank.
Long Standing Donors
Two long standing blood donors, Ms Mercy Quagraine aged 66 and Mr Joshua Alorgbey, 42 who participated in the walk also advocated for the need for voluntary donors to continuously participate in donating blood for at least two times in a year.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Ms Quagraine who has donated 43 times to the National Blood Service explained that she had never had any health complications ever since she started donating blood.
She added that although she was no longer donating because of her age, she spends most of her time advocating for the need to donate blood in her community.
For his part, Mr Alorgbey who had also donated 35 times said “I am happy when my blood gives people another chance at life.”
He recounted an instance where he donated to a relative who had lost blood after surgery and he had to intervene together with a few of his colleagues.
“The more you help people with your blood, the more you get their problems solves,” he added.