Dean of Medical Sciences at the University of Cape Coast, Prof Mrs Ivy Adwowa Efiefi Ekem, has called on the government to provide the right infrastructure for the blood banks to enable workers to give world-class service.
She said the budgetary support for their activities came from government and appealed that their activities should be prioritised since “the blood service required sound infrastructure to make it successful and avoid a crisis.”
Professor Ekem made the appeal at the opening of the third ECOWAS regional conference of the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT), in Accra.
The two-day conference is under the theme “Voluntary unpaid blood donation – Requirement for quality health system”.
She explained sound infrastructure as putting the right system and structures in place including effective information technology, appropriate buildings, vehicles, financial fluidity and quality systems for all processes.
Professor Ekem said, an effective blood service, recruiting voluntary unpaid donors, needs to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, Christian Health Association of Ghana, Red Cross, Institutions of learning, the media, Corporate Institutions, the Ministries of Women and Children, Roads and Highways, the general populace and the National Ambulance Service.
These collaborations, she stated, must come with mutual understanding and respect.
Professor Ekem called for regular dialogue with funders to ensure that regulations would be enforced and also have an independent body with legal backing.
This, she said, would ensure that members in the sub-region applied the same standards in donor recruitment and retention, testing and storage, use of blood and blood products and above all, being equipped to do so.
She called on members of AfSBT and the ECOWAS region to recruit more voluntary blood donors to help achieve the 100 per cent donation with a blood collection index of 10, saying that, the centres in Ghana were increasing their voluntary blood pool.
She discouraged the giving of souvenirs to donors, except for special occasions, stating that, they should be made to understand that their efforts were invaluable and that they were being recognised.
Professor Ekem, on the other hand, said, doctors should be trained to investigate anaemia and how it could properly be treated to avoid the situation where they would need a blood transfusion.
Professor Aba Omotunde Sagoe, a Consultant Haematologist said the donors should be educated against their fears of blood donation and be made to appreciate the benefits such as free health checks, rejuvenation of blood and saving other’s lives.
Mrs Mavis Okyere, Chairperson of the Local Planning Committee said, the Conference offered members the opportunity to renew contacts and discuss issues of mutual interest.
Professor Joseph O. Adewuyi a Consultant Haematologist discovered in a research that contrary to the assertion that there was strong interrelation among African family members, thus, would easily promote blood donation, it was false as most members would not rely on relatives but paid donors.
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