The South-East zonal blood transfusion services, based in Owerri, now realizes about 5,000 units of blood annually.
Coordinator of the services in Owerri, Dr. Chukwuemeka Iheanacho, disclosed this during this year’s celebration of the World Donor Day at Multipurpose Hall, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri recently.
This was a remarkable improvement upon the earlier generated 2,000 units.
Dr Iheanacho said blood is a scarce and precious commodity that is not meant to be wasted. He, therefore, appealed to the non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) to help them in funding and sensitizing people on the advantages of donating blood.
“I am appealing to the general public to make blood donation their civic responsibility to save life of an unknown person.” He said.
He equally appealed to the state government to assist them in the area of land allocation and donor’s gift items, and also join hands in mobilizing and sensitizing people to voluntarily donate blood so as to save lives.
In his opening remark, the chairman Prof. B.E.B. Nwoke said the theme of the celebration which was “safe blood for saving mothers” was aimed at increasing awareness on the importance of blood donation for all countries as part of comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.
He said that every day about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth related complications, severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth, is a major cause of mobility, motality and long term disability.
He, therefore, urged everyone, especially youths within the ages of 18 – 31 years to donate blood regularly, holding that blood is a natural thing given by God as there is no machine that manufactured blood.
During his lecture, the Chief medical director Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) Orlu, Dr. Federick Anulue, said a lot of mothers die in course of child birth and a woman can empty her blood in two hours if unattended to.
“Severe bleeding during delivery or after child birth is the commonest cause of maternal death which contributes 34% of maternal death in Africa.” He said. He then advised that blood transfusion should be discussed with pregnant women as early as possible so that misconceptions can be addressed or alternative treatment options be considered.
In an interview, Mrs Chiaka Ajunwa who represented the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on MDG matters, Mrs Nma Nzeribe, said the rate at which women die during delivery is alarming and children under 1-5 years lose blood due to attack by malaria and other related diseases.
People who have been donating blood to the centre were honoured at the occasion.