Some volunteer blood donors at the 2021 World Leukaemia Day organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Timilehin Leukaemia Foundation (TLF), on Saturday, called on more Nigerians to participate in the life-saving exercise, so as to shore up depleted blood banks.
Some of the volunteers who narrated the various gains and benefits of blood donation in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) contended that the exercise had no adverse side effects, but was a great service.
NAN reports that the free blood donation exercise held at the Mechanic and Spare part village, Agindingbi, Ikeja, was to mark the 2021 World Leukaemia day with the theme “Each One, Each Ten.
Every Sept. 4, each year, had been declared as World Leukaemia Day and the 2020 report said that Leukaemia, a cancer of the blood, had caused over 300,000 deaths across the world.
The report also said that over 437,000 people across the world were diagnosed with leukaemia each year, which is over 1,000 people every day.
The host of the blood donation exercise and the Chairman of the Mechanic and Spare Parts dealers, First Gate, Agidingbi, Andy Umeh said that artisans had been strong supporters of the exercise in past years.
“We have come a long way in supporting blood donation in this workplace with Timilehin Foundation, myself and some of our members do come regularly to donate blood.
“We are well aware of the situation in the country where it is evident that the government cannot do everything for us, we must also do our own part in looking after our brothers.
“This exercise is part of our widows mite donating the blood that God has given us freely to others freely, we have also been encouraging other members to do same.
“I believe that we should be part of the solutions to our societal challenges. We have people in need of this blood and we should endeavour to give them chance to survive, he said.
One of the donors, Blessing John 25, described the exercise as a life fulfilling one she had done in recent times.
“This is an exercise I have not been involved in until today, but I found it life fulfilling because I am satisfied that I am able to support those that are in need of blood.
“My first motive of coming is to save a life as I was told, I was surprised that I didn’t feel any pains or discomfort at all during the exercise, so this gives me more joy.
“I am calling on youths like me to embrace blood donation to save other lives who are in need of it because it will go a long way to save lives.
“I have seen many people that are critically sick and in need of blood, this exercise is important to saving such people, she said.
For Taiwo Yusuf, a Cake Designer, blood donation had become a way of life which she does not only willingly but more often because of its immense benefits.
“I am a regular blood donor, I have done this about eight times now. There is nothing to be scared about donating blood, for me it’s just about saving lives.
“I have a nephew who is a Sickle Cell patient and I know the importance of blood transfusion and the process of getting blood.
“When donating blood, the donor only needs to have eaten and be sound enough for the exercise; there is nothing untoward about it. We need more people to embrace this blood donation exercise, she said.
Yusuf’s twin sister, Kehinde, told NAN that there was no negative consequences in donating blood, adding that the misconception that the blood was being resold was unfounded.
“Sometimes, people do have misconceptions that the blood they donated was being sold to those who are in need of it, but this is not the case.
“Those people do come around to ask for money before they can donate, this is wrong, because the blood are actually free for the patients as much as I know there are only administrative charges.
“The blood has to go through some process before the eventual transfusion to those in the need of it, we really need to get more people involved in this exercise, she said.
Sikiru Sulaiman, a Mechanic, told NAN that being a first time donor was a bit scary for him, but with assurance of no negative effect from the counsellors he was satisfied donating blood.
“When I was called to donate blood, I was scared because I thought it would be a painful process, but I was counselled about it and I went through it without any complaints.
“I should do more of this because even though it is free, we are provided with refreshment and a blood tonic was given to me, so I lost nothing, he said.
NAN reports that the blood donation exercise witnessed a large turn out at the centres mounted at the mechanic village, supported by Fidson Pharmaceuticals and the Lagos state Blood Transfusion Service.