Ag. Head of the southern zonal blood centre for the National Blood Service Ghana, Dr Dilys John-Teye, has lamented the low participation of voluntary blood donors in the country, describing it as not encouraging.
According to her, the low level of blood pool at the Service does not augur well for the healthcare system. She revealed that although voluntary donors are doing their best, more needs to be done to ensure the survival of patients.
“So, the mandate of the national blood service is to make safe, adequate blood available to patients who require blood transfusion as part of their treatment in both public and private hospitals. To be able to perform this role, we depend on donors, unfortunately, our voluntary donor pool in Ghana is not very encouraging.”Dr Dilys John-Teye
Elaborating on the state of the national blood service pool, Dr John-Teye explained that with a population of about 30 million, Ghana is expected to have some 300,000 units of blood annually. However, she indicated that the Service has only about 170,000 units.
“For the national figures, we have only about 26% that donate blood are voluntary blood donors. Voluntary blood donors are said to be the safest source of blood for patients who require transfusion. So, you can imagine that most of our blood sources which would have been very safe, we met less than 50% of that.”Dr Dilys John-Teye
In marking this year’s World Blood Donor Day, Dr John-Teye highlighted that the burden usually falls on relatives of patients to get blood for patients. She however noted that some patients do not make it due to the urgency of the case.
“So, hospitals put the burden on patient’s relatives to beef up this shortage and bring it up to an appreciable level. But, when a patient needs blood and it’s an emergency, it’s not the time to look for a patient’s relative. Blood is a drug for the patient. Unfortunately, we are not able to meet the needs of most of our patients.”Dr Dilys John-Teye
Furthermore, Dr John-Teye stated that Ghana is meeting barely 60% of the need when both voluntary and family replacement donors are combined. With this, she revealed that the service will be literally handicapped if donors fail to donate, which might lead to deaths of patients.
Absa Bank donates to Blood Service
Meanwhile, Absa Bank Ghana has taken a significant step in supporting Ghana’s National Blood Service.
Responding to the Service’s urgent appeal to bolster blood reserves, Absa Bank has generously contributed 150 pints of blood to the country’s blood bank.
The demand for blood in Ghana consistently exceeds its available supply, making blood donation a vital aspect of healthcare delivery.
Under the inspiring banner of “Spread Love. Donate Blood,” Absa’s dedicated Citizenship team successfully mobilised a substantial number of employees, local students, and volunteers at their Accra Head Office to participate in the donation drive.
At the donation centre, strict safety protocols were strictly enforced to ensure the well-being of all donors and volunteers throughout the event.
Priscilla Yeboah, Head of Citizenship at Absa Bank, expressed her delight. She noted that as a responsible corporate citizen, the bank recognizes the importance of collaboration and partnerships in strengthening the country’s healthcare infrastructure to positively impact and transform lives.
“We are thrilled to have made a meaningful contribution to the call for increased blood donations to benefit Ghana’s healthcare system. This is just the beginning of an enduring collaboration between Absa Bank and the National Blood Service.”Priscilla Yeboah
To ensure the safety and eligibility of donors, only individuals aged 18 and above, weighing at least 50kg, and in good health were allowed to participate.