Mr Felix Appertey, Blood Donor Recruitment Officer of the Ghana National Blood Service, has said the country’s blood demand is estimated to be 350,000 units per year.
He indicated that due to insufficient blood, many health procedures that required blood transfusions were either halted or postponed in various health facilities.
Mr Appertey was speaking at a blood donation and COVID-19 test event organized on Valentine’s Day by the Southern Zone Research Staff Association (RSA) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
About 100 people attended the event, which aimed to promote preventive health care through COVID-19 testing and encourage blood donation to save lives.
The participants included students from Labone Senior High School (SHS), staff of the CSIR, members of the RSA, and the media.
Last year, Mr Appertey said Ghana managed to get access to a total of 170,000 units of blood, consisting of both voluntary blood and family replacement donors.
“Every morning, cars are packed in our facility waiting for blood to be sent to their facility for their transfusion, but they don’t get it. So, what we do is that when you need 10, we give you five or two,” he said.
Mr Appertey indicated that blood donors benefit greatly because donating blood allows excess blood to be released, preventing blood clotting, which can lead to a variety of illnesses, including cancer.
When a donor gives blood, the hemoglobin reproduces fresh blood in the body system within 24 hours, and a donor card is given to the donor to ensure that the donor has access to blood in the future.
Professor (Prof) Paul Bosu, Director-General of the CSIR, noted that the blood donation and COVID-19 test events were not a coincidence and that Valentine’s Day was set aside to show love to one another, but it has since turned into a romantic way of expressing love.
“As I wanted to understand the romantic love, I found that apart from the Agape love that is from God, there is also the Philia. It is called brotherly love as in the city of Philadelphia,” he noted.
Prof. Bosu highlighted the significance of love, saying that a touch of the philia love promoted good health, lower blood pressure, fewer doctor visits, shorter hospital stays, less pain, and more positive emotions.
As a result, as a way of expressing his philia, he encouraged citizens to donate blood to save the lives of people who could be friends or relatives.
“The blood you give today will also save a life tomorrow. So, as we donate blood today, we might not know exactly who is going to receive it, but we know that whoever receives our blood becomes part of our family. Blood is thicker than water,” he said.
The Ghana National Blood Service is the Ministry of Health agency tasked with ensuring an effective and coordinated national approach to the provision of safe, adequate, and efficacious blood and blood products in the country.