Blood services: FG gives unregistered health facilities 30 days ultimatum The National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) on Wednesday, issued a stern warning to all unregistered health facilities involved in blood services to register within 30 days or face sanctions.
The Acting Director-General of the commission, Dr Omale Amedu, gave the warning in Abuja, while briefing the media on the implementation of the NBSC blood service regulatory policies.
Amedu said all those involved in blood business were expected to register with the commission to ensure appropriate regulation and coordination of safe and quality blood and blood products “Lawlessness and attitude of people towards regulatory compliance are difficult.
However, when dealing with human lives, the consequences of such actions may result in grave consequences, ranging from morbidity to loss of lives.
“Therefore, we cannot continue to allow people to transfused infected and or expired blood to our people.
“No blood shall be transfused anywhere in Nigeria without the NBSC seal of accreditation.
“Anyone receiving blood or blood product transfusion in any Nigeria health facility must ask to see the NBSC seal and without it, do not accept because it is not safe,” he said.
According to him, over 90 per cent of health facilities in Nigeria were still practicing “sharp” and unsafe blood transfusion practices, exposing people to HIV, hepatitis, syphilis and others.
He, therefore, warned that any health facilities including those owned by the government as well as private that failed to register in the next 30 days would be sanctioned according to the law.
” Consequently, all Federal Government hospitals, FCT health facilities, private hospitals, individuals and international health facilities involved in blood transfusion, blood components separation, and aphaeresis in Nigeria.
” And, starting from the FCT, are to within 30 days from today comply and get registered with commission or face sanctions as provided by the NHAct 2014 and NBSC Act 2021,” he said.
He said rigorous process were involved to provide safe and quality blood and blood products, in terms of donor-selection, technical aspect of collection, storage, appropriate testing technology, cold-chain system, distribution and client protection, as well as disposal of waste products.
The National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has called for a more robust Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the blood services for improve availability of safe blood in the country.
The Acting Director-General of the commission, Dr Omale Amedu, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, to celebrate the World Blood Donor Day.
The World Blood Donor Day, held annually on June 14, is aimed at raising global awareness on the need for safe blood and blood production for transfusion.
Amedu said investing in blood services would improve the availability of blood and blood products such as whole blood; red cell concentrates; platelets; fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate and others.
He also added that it would also provide avenue for the production of plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMP), which can also be sold within and outside the country.
“The aspect of ensuring safe blood for Nigerians cannot be complete without the private sector.
“So we need them to invest in providing blood services not just as whole blood, but as blood products and plasma derived products.
“These products are products that are sold as drugs. This aspect is business oriented.
“Investors who are able to put together good initiative can go into the business, where they can separate blood into its components and produce drugs like antigen, haemoglobin and several others.
“All these are sold not just in the local market, but international market as well.
” And the federal government will collaborate with anyone who is interested through Public Private Partnership (PPP) to ensure they fully establish this venture and make profit out of it,” the acting D-G said.
According to him, the commission’s mandate was to regulate, coordinate and ensure the provision of safe blood and blood products.
He, therefore, appealed for more voluntary unpaid donors to donate blood to save lives, improve their health status and increase the nation’s blood bank.
“Our target is to ensure that blood units collected will increase from the present 25,000 to one million by 2023 and three million by 2030,” Amedu said.
The D-G further described blood donation as an act of solidarity and urged Nigerians to join the effort to save lives.
He said that the act highlights the critical contributions voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems.
Dr Omale Amedu, Acting Director-General, the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC), has urged Nigerians to regularly donate blood to improve their health and be able to have children.
Amedu gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, ahead of the forthcoming World Blood Donor Day, celebrated annually in June 14.
The World Blood Donor Day is aimed at raising global awareness on the need for safe blood and blood production for transfusion.
According to him, regular blood donation not only saves lives but also enables the donor to obtain good health and renewed system.
“Donating blood has so many advantages as it will make one look fresher, younger, healthier and have prolong life.
“This is because as you donate blood, the old cells in the blood system are taken away.
“So, if you are a regular donor, as a lady you donate blood every four months, that means the old blood cells are taken and you manufacture fresh blood cells.
”You are servicing your system by renewing your strength, vigour and the contents of your system,” Amedu said.
He shared a testimony of a donor who was unable to conceive for more than 12 years, in spite of series of medical checkups which found nothing wrong with her.
He said, “But through the process of donating blood without seeking any medical help, she was able to conceive naturally and became pregnant.
”So, we can see that the renewal of the cells in the body, through blood donation, carries alot of advantage.”
He encouraged more non-remunerated or unpaid blood donors to key into the commission’s One-Million-Safe-Blood-Units-Initiative (OMSBUI) project to increase the nation’s blood bank.
According to Amedu, when you are asked, requested or coerced to donate blood to someone you know, it means you are saving someone you know.
He said, “but voluntary unpaid donors are committed to save the lives of unseen and unknown persons, and for that we appreciate them for what they are doing.
“Our target is to ensure blood units collected will increase from the present 25,000 to one million by 2023 and three million by 2030,” he said.
He added that the theme for this year’s World Blood Donor Day is “Donating Blood is an act of Solidarity. Join the effort and save lives”.
He said the theme is to highlight the critical contributions voluntary, unpaid blood donors would be making to national health systems.
By Justina Auta
Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire has recognized some voluntary blood donors for their regularity and timely donation to the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) blood bank.
Ehanire made the recognition Monday in Abuja at a press conference in commemoration of World Blood Donor Day 2021.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that World Blood Donor Day, reserved for raising global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion, is celebrated on June 14 each year.
In addition, it also aims to recognize the contributions of voluntary and unpaid blood donors to national health systems.
The minister, represented by Dr Ngozi Onwudigwe, director of hospital services at the ministry, described blood donation as the common thread of humanity and that the personal commitment of donors has helped save lives and improve health others.
Those recognized at the NBTS, Federal Capital Territory area, include Mr. Nathan Akpan, who has donated blood 67 times, and a lawyer, Ms. Hajara Isa, who has been recognized as having donated blood 32 times.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which still ravages the world and the resulting morbidity restrictions, many blood donors have continued to donate blood, personally committed to saving the lives of those in need.
“This act is indeed heroic and worthy of praise,” he said.
Ehanire encouraged other Nigerians to accept the humanitarian call to donate blood and inspire others to do the same.
He also called for the promotion of community values on blood donation, as an adequate supply of blood and blood products would reduce mortality associated with fatal illnesses, accident injuries, anemia and bleeding during pregnancy and childbirth.
The minister also said that around 118.5 million units of blood are collected each year worldwide, of which only 15 percent come from voluntary unpaid donors.
“In Nigeria, less than five percent of all blood donation comes from voluntary unpaid donors.
“Every country must have a strong base of voluntary unpaid donors to ensure that everyone who needs safe blood has access to them,” he said.
NBTS national coordinator Dr Omale Amedu said similar recognition will take place in all NBTS zone offices.
Amedu said the agency is committed to regulating, coordinating and ensuring safe, quality and affordable blood and blood products in the country.
He said the NTBS 10-year strategic plan, including a target of one million units of safe blood, would ensure an increase in the number of voluntary unpaid donors, in order to meet the growing need for safe blood and blood products in across the country.
In a goodwill message, Professor Innocent Ujah, President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), called for more advocacy and awareness on the need for more voluntary and unpaid blood donors.
World Health Organization representative Dr Omotayo Hamzat called for better blood donation to save lives and improve health.
Dr Prosper Okonkwo, managing director of the APIN-Public Health Initiative, said the organization will engage in advocacy and blood collection activities in certain areas of the Federal Capital Territory in order to raise public awareness of the need for blood donation.
Okonkwo, represented by Ms. Rita Ayoka-Ikechukwu, the organization's technical manager for prevention and community services, urged more Nigerians to join the campaign for blood donation in the country.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the NBTS, together with other stakeholders, organized a road walk, webinar and awareness raising, to mark World Blood Donor Day. (NAA)(NAN)
The National Coordinator of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Dr Omale Amedu, says donating blood asides helping to save lives, also has lots of benefits to the donor.
Amedu stated this on Saturday in Jos during the service’s top management retreat.
He said that one of the benefits of donating blood was that blood donors got to have a free medical check-up to ascertain their health status.
He also said that donating blood also helped to maintain a healthy heart, liver and kidneys.
“As blood donation helps in reducing the risk of heart and liver ailments caused by iron overload in the body; blood donation also helps to maintain the level of iron in the body.
“Donating blood stimulates the production of new blood cells and in turn helps in maintaining good health,’’ the National coordinator said.
He said males could donate blood four times annually, while females could donate blood thrice yearly.
He called on Nigerians to embrace the act of voluntary blood donation as the act not only helped in saving lives, but also had tremendous benefits to the donor.
Amedu, however, lamented that in spite of Nigeria’s huge blood supply potential due to her given youthful population, there is still a wide gap in demand and supply of safe blood units in the country.
The coordinator attributed the gap to limited awareness and advocacy for blood donations, absence of special blood donation programmes and scepticism.
The other factors he said, were deep cultural myths, misconceptions on voluntary non-remunerate blood donation by the public and lack of beliefs in blood transfusion.
Amedu further revealed that the NBTS had proposed the establishment of a national strategic safe blood units reserve for national emergencies through the one million safe blood units’ initiative as one of its 10-year strategic plan.
According to him, the initiative will be achieved through active donor participation, targeted blood donation campaigns and partnerships in order to effectively complement national wellness.
He said that it would also alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians as it pertained to Nigeria blood needs.
The national coordinator said that the safe quantity of screened blood units gotten would be quickly mobilised in the event of national emergencies and would also provide the necessary raw material for component production and manufacturing of plasma derived medicinal products.
He said the initiative would make use of aggressive media campaigns and the engagement of relevant stakeholders toward mobilising Nigerians to voluntarily make blood donations.
He revealed that the objectives of the One Million Safe Blood Units Initiative is to make available a large pool of safe blood units for the service, to reiterate government’s commitment to provide safe, quality blood to Nigerians
According to him, the objective is also to incorporate the use of modern technology to enhance blood donor mobilisation, improve blood supply reserves and ensure efficient delivery mechanisms to point of use.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the retreat which commenced on Nov. 13 would end on Nov. 15.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye and Abdullahi Yusuf
The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) on Tuesday pledged its support to achieve zero record of hepatitis in the country as the world marks 2020 World Hepatitis Day.
The National Coordinator of NBTS, Dr Omale Amedu, made the pledge in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Observed on July 28 every year, World Hepatitis Day aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E — and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
The theme for 2020 World Hepatitis Day – “Hepatitis-free future” – focuses on preventing the disease which attacks the liver, one of the five main strains, among mothers and newborns.
According to the NBTS boss, the Nigeria Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) of 2018 shows that no fewer than 19 million Nigerians live with hepatitis B or hepatitis C, with a significant proportion infected from unsafe blood transfusion.
He stated that “in 2019, hepatitis B and C made up nearly 85 per cent of infected blood units out of blood screened and found positive to have transfusion-transmissible infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa, 12.5 per cent of patients who receive blood transfusion are at risk of post-transfusion hepatitis due to unsafe blood.”
Amedu added that in spite of availability of diagnostic tools and effective treatment, less than one in 10 of the 71 million people with hepatitis B or C in Africa have access to testing and treatment, while more than 200,000 die yearly due to complications like end-stage liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
He, therefore, reiterated the commitment of the service toward creating more awareness, especially as over 290 million people globally were unaware that they were living with viral hepatitis.
He said “we at the National Blood Transfusion Service therefore use the opportunity of the World Hepatitis Day to call for increased awareness and concerns on this silent epidemic and find the “missing millions”.
“Identifying and treating infected individuals will ensure that those infected are connected to treatment, as a fewer number of infected persons will go on to donate blood and infect many more.”
The NBTS boss called for more advocacy aimed at increasing funding for testing, reducing the cost of hepatitis B and C diagnostics and medicines and targeted research.
Amedu advised the public to get the hepatitis B vaccine, desist from sharing needles or razor blade, practise safe sex, safe handling and disposal of sharp objects and accept blood donation only from properly counselled donors.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Dr Omale Amedu has been appointed as the new National Coordinator of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) to replace Dr Oluwatoyin Smith, who recently retired from civil service.
The information is in a statement signed by Abdullahi Haruna, the Head, Media and Communications of NBTS on Thursday in Abuja.
Haruna stated that the new coordinator is a trained medical doctor, administrator and leadership mentor who graduated from University of Jos.
He noted that Amedu also attended University of Liverpool, UK, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, near Jos, and the Atlantic International University, Honolulu- Hawaii, United States
The new National Coordinator, Amedu, on assumption of office, charged staff of the service to be diligent, focused and result-oriented to increase the blood needs of the country and ensure blood safety, he added.
The media head stated that the new national coordinator had commenced immediate reorganisation of the service for improved efficiency.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)