Group urges Nigerians to donate blood

Most maternal deaths are due to hemorrhage.

To commemorate the 2013 World Blood Donor Day, Evidence for Action, E4A, a programme under UK’s Department for international Development, DFID, is aiming to improve maternal and newborn survival in six sub-Saharan countries including Nigeria through its Mamaye campaign.

The campaign, which follows the theme of this year’s WBDD- Give the Gift of Life; Donate Blood- is urging Nigerians to donate blood which can help in saving the lives of mothers and babies.

In a statement released by E4A’s Communication Specialist, Morooph Babaranti, about 26 per cent of maternal deaths in sub Saharan Africa are as a result of severe bleeding (haemorrhage) due to lack of blood.

According to the Country Director, E4A, Tunde Segun, through the Mamaye campaign, Nigeria will soon be a place safe for mothers and babies.

“Mamaye envisages a Nigeria where every pregnancy is safe for mothers and babies. Donating your blood is a gift of life that helps protect those who bring us into this world and our next generation,” Mr. Segun said

Lamenting that most hospital blood banks usually don’t have adequate supply of blood to save lives of mothers and babies in the country, Mr. Segun called on Nigerians to become regular and committed blood donors.

Following the WBDD2013, a media dialogue on the challenges and prospects of safe, unpaid, voluntary blood donation in Nigeria organised by PREMIUM TIMES; Mamaye campaign; and Champions for Maternal and Child Healthcare, C4MNH, a coalition of health writers; took place at PREMIUM TIMES office on Friday with speakers from the National Blood Transfusion Service, Safe Blood for Africa, Club 25, the White Ribbon Alliance, and a youth group, the Hitblock Entertainment.

MamaYe will also stage a drama on blood donation as part of community blood drive organised by the National Blood Transfusion Service at the palace of the Emir on June 15 to give the Zuba community the opportunity to donate blood.

The WBDD was inaugurated in 2003. Every year, an estimated 92 million blood donations are recorded, according to the World Health Organisation, WHO.

By 2020, WHO’s target is for all countries to obtain 100% of its blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donations. However, voluntary unpaid donations currently account for 100% of national supplies in only 62 countries around the world.

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