It is well known that someone needs blood every minute and that’s why the World Health Organization (WHO) has earmarked June 14 of every year to celebrate the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The focus for this year’s campaign is “Safe blood for saving mothers”. This campaign will increase awareness about the need for timely access to safe blood and blood products which is essential to prevent maternal deaths and to thank blood donors for their voluntary life-saving gifts of blood.
According to WHO, maternal mortality is still unacceptably high. About 500 women die every day from pregnancy or childbirth related complications globally with the major cause being severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery.
Blood has 3 main functions:
- Transports - gases, nutrients, waste products, hormones and heat in the body
- Protects - through white blood cells that destroy microorganisms, antibodies that build immunity and platelets that initiate blood clotting.
- Regulates - body pH and water balance
Simply put, blood is the key to life and this life could be lost within seconds to a few hours if excessive blood Loss occurs.
Common causes include:
- Bleeding from trauma, surgery or child birth
- Lack of red blood cell production caused by poor diet, pregnancy, or chronic diseases
- High rates of red blood cell destruction from spleen dis ease, HIV, sickle cell anemia, drug side effects of & reactions to blood transfusions.
That is why WBDD is aimed at ensuring that everyone has access to blood and blood products that are safe, available at reasonable cost, adequate to meet the needs of patients and transfused only when necessary.
You can donate blood if you:
- Are aged between 18 and 65.
- Weigh 50 kg and above.
- Are in good general health.
- Fulfil the medical requirements to donate blood.
Note that the blood collected will undergo Blood Screening.
WHO recommends that all blood donations should be screened for compatibility and infection prior to use. Screening should be mandatory for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis
In order to have sufficient blood for donation, you should invest in some Blood Building Foods such as: Green leafy vegetables, Eggs, liver, fish, & poultry
Also Citrus fruits like oranges, grapes & Tangerine
Where Can I Donate Blood?
This is easy, just walk into any Government approved Public/Private Hospitals with a Blood Bank. It will interest you to know that compared to other countries, Nigeria records less than 5 donations per 1000 population with 1/6th of Maternal deaths occurring in Nigeria, but you can make a difference through blood donation.