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Ghana unable to meet annual blood requirement   
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Ghana is unable to meet its annual blood requirement of 150,000 units but Non-Remunerated Voluntary Blood Donation is a credible means of meeting the target, Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, Minister of Health has said.

He said,"the annual blood collection over the years invariably fall below 50 per cent."

Dr Kumbuor said this when he addressed medical practitioners and blood donors at the ninth National Blood Donor Day and the launch of 2009 Annual Blood Donation Campaign in Accra on Saturday.

The event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Accra, was organised under the theme: "Safe Blood for Transfusion, Responsibility of Every Citizen."

Dr Kumbuor said the Non-Remunerated Voluntary Blood Donation increased the safety of the nation's blood supply and noted: "Regular voluntary donors are the safest blood donors and are the foundation of sustainable national blood supplies."

He paid tribute to all Voluntary Blood Donors and the Rotary Club of Accra for their support to ensure safe and adequate blood supply in the entire country.

Dr Kumbuor said the total units of blood collected from voluntary donors for 2008 was about 40,000 units, representing 27 per cent of the total requirement.

He described it as a far cry of the national requirement adding that this unfortunate situation could affect medical care for the people.

The current state of affairs, he said, ought to change and pledged government's support to the National Blood Transfusion Service calling and called on all the stakeholders to contribute to its success.

Dr Kumbuor stressed that the importance of safe adequate blood transfusion was critical to reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

He expressed gratitude to the media, religious organisations, educational institutions, workplaces and community groups for their continued support to the campaign.

Dr Justina Ansah, Head of National Blood Transfusion Service, said the theme was chosen to recognise the tremendous assistance the Service had received from the Voluntary Non-Remunerated Donors over the years.

She said it was also to let all Ghanaians know that blood donation should be the responsibility of all.

Dr Ansah said about 60 per cent of blood transfused nationwide came from voluntary blood donors in educational institution, religious organizations and organised groups throughout the country.

"It is our hope not only to attract more voluntary donors but also to keep them interested in donating blood as long as they can," she said.

One positive side of blood donation, she said, was that it constantly reminded the donor to lead safe lifestyles.

Blood donors nationwide were honoured during the Day in all the regional capitals.

Mr Ali Mohammed of Kumasi, a donor, took the first prize of double door refrigerator having donated 55 times while the second prize of single door refrigerator went to Mr Samuel Amoakohene from Accra, 51 times.

Madame Fawzi Ibrahim from Wa, took a 21-inch colour television set for placing third with 47 times of donation.

In the Greater Accra Region, Mr Patrick Yamenui, Isaac Cobbinah and Reverend Albert Asante, who have donated 48, 44 and 43 times for the first, second and third positions respectively also received some items.

The national youth prize went to Ms Joyce Kanyi from Accra, who has so far donated 13 times. She received a standing fan for her prize.
Source: GNA

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