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FG inaugurates blood screening equipment

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FG inaugurates blood screening equipment

By Justina Auta

The federal government introduced the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) blood component separation system by apheresis and automated blood screening equipment.

Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire said at the inauguration in Abuja that it would improve access to safe, quality and affordable blood and blood products in the country.

Ehanire said that with the high-tech equipment, the manufacture of plasma-derived drugs (PDMP) would meet the country’s blood product needs in the near future.

The minister urged investors to work with NBTS to invest in it.

“We anticipate that with the introduction of safe and quality separation of blood components and automated screening, the NBTS will be able to meet critical blood product needs in a timely manner for local demands in our hospitals. and thus to export to neighboring countries.

“This is commendable, because thanks to the income generated internally, recovering government investments is a well-intentioned initiative.

“Ultimately, through the production and marketing of a suitable range of therapeutic blood products, plasma and plasma-derived drugs at regional and international level; this will make the National Blood Service of Nigeria a key player in transfusion medicine in sub-Saharan Africa, ”he said.

According to him, it will also create jobs, wealth and generate additional income for development, thus reducing pressures on the national budget through income generation.

“The use of advanced technologies offers many opportunities for large-scale collaborations and partnerships, as interested stakeholders will be invited to invest in the large-scale production of plasma-derived products,” he said.

During the passage of the National Blood Service Commission bill, Ehanire said that early assent from the president would ensure the rapid growth of the NBTS service and the development of blood products in Nigeria.

Likewise, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunimbe Mamora, commended the NBTS for improving the number of voluntary blood donors and ensuring uninterrupted blood services throughout the country.

Mamora therefore assured the agency of the ministry’s support and commitment to ensure a safe and high-quality supply of blood and blood components needed in the country.

NBTS national coordinator Dr Omale Joseph Amedu said the provision of automated blood screening and various blood components would ensure appropriate clinical use of blood in hospitals.

Amedu said it would also reduce lab turnaround times and minimize transfusion-transmissible infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis and reduce adverse transfusion reactions and events in blood transfusion recipients.

“The NBTS will become a more effective and efficient coordinator and regulator of blood services in Nigeria.

“This will ensure that everyone residing in Nigeria has access to safe blood when needed and in a fairly distributed manner.

“The impact of this on the country’s health indices will be a testament to the contributions of the NBTS to the country’s health sector,” he said.

For his part, Professor Innocent Ujah, president of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) represented by Dr Ahmed Attah, said putting the equipment into service would improve the country’s health indices.

Likewise, Mr. Salisu Idris, Country Director, Safe Blood for Africa Foundation (SBAF) urged the government to allocate more funds to the health sector to improve service delivery. (NAN)

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