Even as many people were busy buying gifts and preparing for end of the year festivities,Club-25 Nigeria, a group of young people that had pledged to donate at least 25 pints of blood in their lifetime, took out time to enlist more people into the club and donate blood.
Club-25 Nigeria, South-West President, Mr Muhammed Busari, at the end of the year programme that included a donor party to appreciate members of the club at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Ibadan, emphasised the need for individuals to always donate blood.
According to him, blood donation does not only give personal satisfaction that lives are being saved, but also affords the donor an opportunity to have a free medical check-up.
Mr Busari, stating that The Club-25 Nigeria other activities include leadership and entrepreneurial training and visitation to the less privileged, described blood donation as a humanitarian service.
He said, “people need to know that blood donation is something that can actually be done to put smiles on people’s faces. A unit of blood that is donated can actually be used by three persons after it has been separated into different portions.”
Mr Abel Abu, Head, Donor Recruitment Section, NBTS, South West Zone and Coordinator Club-25 Nigeria, said the goals of the club were to affect youths positively on blood donation, rather than other activities that are not profitable.
According to him, “they are inviting other young people to celebrate the end of the year with them. At the same time, they are remembering that there are some people in pain by donating blood to save the life of someone, thus giving the gift of life to people.”
Mrs Olukemi Raji, the NBTS South- West, Donor Care Manager, earlier in a talk at the party said any blood donor must weigh 50kilogrammes, be between 18 and 65 years old, have a high Packed Cell Volume (PCV) and free of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
She stressed that any blood that is not donated, the body itself would destroy after some time, adding, “Blood donation does no harm to people, it even does good for a person’s health. It allows the organ in the body saddled with the task of destroying old blood cells time to rest while the bone marrow makes new ones.”
Mrs Raji, stating that blood donation has many health benefits, said “many individuals with high blood pressure are not aware of it in Nigeria. But volunteering to donate every three months for men and four months for women would ensure they can regularly monitor their blood pressures.”
She added that blood donors when they need blood either for their personal medical use or for their close relatives, only need to provide their donor cards to also receive free blood.
According to Mrs Raji, there is yet no substitute to blood despite improvement in medical science. She added that oftentimes accident victims and pregnant women due to excessive blood loss as well as people with diseases like sickle cell disease require blood transfusion to remain alive.