…Patients pay a huge sum for blood – WHO
Lagos State Government is working out modalities to subsidise the high cost of screening of blood products to reduce the burden of cost incurred by healthcare providers, health facilities operators and members of the public, during blood transfusion process chain, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed this today at a symposium and Scientific Conference organised by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) to commemorate the Y2023 World Blood Donor Day in Lagos which held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, explained that the cost of preparing a pint of blood for transfusion is a little too high for the public and healthcare providers to bear all alone.
The Governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye said, “The challenge now is that the cost of preparing one pint of blood, including the grouping and cross matching that has to be done before transfusion is a little too high for the public to bear. So what is happening currently is that the people who are screening the blood and the hospitals that are transfusing the blood are bearing the extra cost, and they are complaining now about the extra cost.
“The Lagos Blood Transfusion Service is working on finding a way to get government to pay the difference, so that the heavier cost is not transferred to the patients and that the health care providers that is grouping and cross matching the blood also does not keep losing money on each pint of blood that they have to transfuse. So we are working on a fair amount for the government to bear to ensure that blood is still fully available for people that require blood transfusion as at when they need it.”
The Governor encouraged members of the public to donate blood regularly explaining that blood is an organ the replaces itself quickly without having a negative impact on the health of the donors adding that the benefit of donating blood cannot be overemphasized particularly the realisation that blood donation can be the difference between life and death for someone who requires it.
“Blood is an organ that replaces itself very quickly so it is always available for you to give again and again and it does not do you any harm but it can be the difference between life and death for other people,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Bodurin Osikomaiya explained that the Y2023 World Blood Donor Day Celebration creates a platform and provides an opportunity to address challenges around blood transfusion services in the state in order to create an enabling environment that supports blood transfusion.
Professor Adedoyin Dosumu, a Consultant Hematologist who was the Keynote Lecturer at the symposium stressed the importance of putting in place hospitable and comfortable blood donor clinics to encourage and impress voluntary blood donors.
Professor Dosumu however advised that the State should be looking at extending its blood donation drive by educating Primary School pupils as well as students in Secondary Schools on voluntary blood donation as a universal education to prepare them to be future blood donors.
From the WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said patients pay, on average, US$42 out of pocket to access safe blood.
She made this known on Wednesday in her message to commemorate World Blood Donor Day, with this year’s campaign slogan as “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.”
Dr. Moeti stated that blood collection remains low at an average donation rate of 5.9 units per 1000 people compared to 33.1 donations per 1000 people in high-income countries. Of concern is the financial barrier to accessing safe blood.
“It is also to raise awareness of safe blood and blood products, such as plasma, and highlight the critical contribution of voluntary, unpaid blood donors to save lives,” she said.
According to her, “It underlines the role every person can play by regularly giving the valuable gift of blood to create a safe and sustainable supply of blood and blood products that can always be available to needy patients.”
She explained that results from a survey conducted in 2022 revealed that 16 countries out of 39 that took part in the survey, had more than 80% of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation (VNRBD), and 19 countries had less than 50% of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation.
Thirty (30) countries reported that plasma-derived medicinal products were listed on their essential medicines list. These statistics show that there is a need for more work to be done in the African Region to improve access to safe blood and blood products.Follow us on social media