The National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has expressed worry over low awareness on blood donation, which was causing shortage in its blood bank.
The Acting Director-General (D-G) of the commission, Dr Omale Amedu, said this shortage hindered efforts to meet the needs of more than 200 million Nigerian population, especially during emergency.
He said all blood receivers, irrespective of age and religious beliefs, are protected by the law, as it is meant to save lives during emergency.
“There is a great deficit in the blood that we currently have in the bank.
“Having a population of over 200 million Nigerians, we are expected to have a minimum of two million safe blood units per annum, but as I speak to you we have only about 25,000 safe blood units in our record.
“So we really need Nigerians to volunteer and donate blood, because you never can tell, who will need blood and so we need to be prepared,” Amedu said.
He, therefore, appealed for more voluntary unpaid donors to donate blood that would save lives, improve their health status and increase the country’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 also called on the media, religious and traditional leaders, as well as other relevant stakeholders, to sensitise people on the benefits of blood donation for the donor and recipients.