I went to donate blood today and I think this is the 1st time I have voluntary gone to donate blood without being coerced into it. I once did it in High school and for me it was more because the whole school was doing it. But today I actually willfully went to donate blood. EXIM Bank was doing a blood donation at the bank and since it is one of the clients I deal with I decided to go and be a part of this initiative. What made me do this? To be honest when since I worked on the corporate communications material for this campaign for EXIM Bank, I did my research as to WHY we need to donate blood. Now its very surprising that we, and by we I mean I am included, don’t know WHY we should donate blood especially for our continent. Let me tell you why you need to just take a few minutes of your day to donate blood, and especially if you are a woman, an African one at that.
Because it saves lives.
Don’t take this statement lightly. Let me give you the facts, but first you must read the story below that took place in Uganda.
“Jennifer Anguko was slowly bleeding to death right in the maternity ward of a major public hospital. Only alone midwife was on duty, the hospital later admitted, and no doctor examined her for 12 hours. An obstetrician who investigated the case said Ms. Anguko, the mother of three young children, had arrived in time to be saved. Her husband, Valente Inziku, a teacher, frantically changed her blood-soaked bedclothes as her life seeped away. “I’m going to leave you,” she told him as he cradled her. He said she pleaded, “Look after our children.” By CELIA W. DUGGER Published: July 29, 2011
An estimated fifty percent of maternal mortalities recorded in Accra are as a result of the unavailability of blood for onward transfusion to the pregnant women who need it. This is according to the Manager of Donor Services, at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital Blood Bank, Tetteh Carboo.
EXPRESS also indicated that less than one percent of Ghanaians donate blood across the country adding that “the percentage is so small you can’t even compute”. http://vibeghana.com/
It is regrettable that Ghana has never achieved a 50 percent voluntary blood donation status, with the percentage fluctuating between 28 and 45 percent despite other African countries like Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Togo having achieved 100 percent status.
In sub-Saharan Africa alone, where blood supply is critically inadequate, severe haemorrhage is a leading cause of maternal deaths.
Heavy bleeding during pregnancy or labour, is the leading cause for maternal deaths in Rwanda, accounting for 34 percent of deaths, according to the Maternal Deaths Audit, 2010. http://allafrica.com/stories/
Your one-pint of blood can save 3 lives! Imagine that. You can never know the day when someone will need your blood. You could save a mother and a child! That to me is great. And it only takes a few minutes of your time, you wont lose ANYTHING at all. Go ahead and save a mother and her child, plus one more person with your one pint of blood. If we all commit to donating blood 3 times every year, we will be able to drastically reduce maternal deaths in our continent. Come on everyone. We need to be the CHANGE we seek!
Its World Blood Donor Day on 14 June. Be a part of giving back and give your blood.