“Donating blood may reduce your risk of developing life threatening diseases” CSIR boss
The Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Prof. Paul P. Bosu has enjoined the public to demonstrate brotherly love by donating blood to save lives and reduce the risk of developing life threatening diseases. He made this call at the just ended blood donation exercise organized by the CSIR Research Staff Association, Southern Zone (RSA) in collaboration with the National Blood Service (NBS). The event dubbed the ‘Love Life Outreach programme’ was held on 14th February in celebration of Valentine’s Day at the CSIR COVID-19 Testing Centre in Accra.
In a brief address, Prof. Bosu referenced how St. Valentine’s Day was originally intended to celebrate “Philia” – the love that one has towards a friend or brother – yet overtime, has been overshadowed by romantic love. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we are having this blood donation campaign today. The history of Valentine’s Day is to show love to humanity.” he remarked. The CSIR boss also highlighted the benefits a donor gains from donating blood and entreated all present to be involved in the exercise. “I know, as someone with a Biological Science background that when you donate blood, you the donor have some benefits which includes lowered risk to life threatening diseases”
Prof. Paul Bosu speaking at the event
The programme was themed “Advancing Preventive Healthcare through Blood Donation and Covid-19 Screening”. Speaking at the event, Dr. Boniface Yeboah Antwi, President of the RSA Southern Zone, explained that by promoting preventive healthcare, one mitigates the risks of contracting diseases. According to Dr. Antwi, there is evidence to suggest that donating blood may reduce the risk of developing cancer. A Covid-19 screening was carried out alongside the blood donation exercise which he believed is essential to stop the spread in our homes and on our campuses. The RSA aspires to be the leaders in science, technology and innovation in Ghana and to promote healthy living among its members and associates through preventive healthcare.
CSIR boss with RSA members, invited guests and CSIR staff
Mr. Felix Appertey, Blood Project Coordinator at the National Blood Service, said that major hospitals in Ghana such as the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital require 220 units of blood every day. He stated that whiles the blood bank is expected to supply over 350,000 units of blood to both public and private hospitals across the country, it recorded only 17,500 units in blood donations in 2022. The grim reality being that several lives are lost due to a lack of timely blood transfusions, especially accident victims who bleed out before making it to the hospital. He further revealed that the Blood Bank had organized a total of 16 donation exercises on Valentine’s Day and expected about 1,000 units of blood to be collected. This amount translates to one week’s worth of blood supply in some hospitals.
Donating blood is a noble cause that truly reflects the deepest love one can have for his neighbor, saving his life. According to Mr. Appertey it is not only the recipient who benefits from this exercise, when you donate blood, you are given a donor card which gives you access to blood when you need it. The donor’s red blood cells are also signaled to produce more blood to replace the amount lost through donation. Finally, the donor benefits from a free health screening which could potentially identify any underlying medical condition sooner rather than later.
Mr. Appertey delivering his speech
Dr. Samuel Armoo, Senior Research Scientist at the CSIR Water Research Institute (WRI) delivered a speech on behalf of Dr. Mike Osei Atweneboana, Director of WRI. In his address, he stated that the purpose of the Biomedical and Public Health Division of WRI is to support CSIR in the area of public health and research. He indicated that the CSIR Covid-19 Testing Centre was pivotal in tracking the spread of the virus and updating the Ministry of Health on reported Covid-19 cases during the pandemic period. He reiterated the importance of testing and vaccination to stop the spread.
Donors giving blood at the blood donation exercise
About the National Blood Service Ghana
The National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG) is an agency under the Ministry of Health Ghana mandated to ensure an effective and coordinated national approach to the provision of safe, adequate and efficacious, blood and blood products, making it timely, accessible and affordable to all patients requiring blood transfusion therapy in both public and private health care institutions in the country.
For further enquiries on donating blood, please visit www.nbs.gov.gh
Source: Corporate Affairs Division