According to Nigeria’s National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of voluntary unpaid blood donation in Africa.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA): Nigeria needs approximately two million units of safe blood yearly but produces about twenty-five thousand. Only 8% of donor blood used in Nigeria comes from voluntary donors.  

Consider a medical emergency where determining the correct blood group is critical to a loved one’s survival. You may know someone who is in desperate need of a blood donation. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could assist them? 

Well, it’s surprisingly simple to do so – all you have to do is donate a unit of blood, and that modest amount might save the life of someone close to you. Blood can’t be made or manufactured, so there’s no substitute. Patients in need of a blood transfusion have no other option but to rely on blood donors.

Image credit: Premium Times

Blood donation has some benefits:

  1. Reduced risk of heart attacks and liver ailment:

Donating blood regularly (2-3 times yearly) can potentially prevent heart attacks and liver ailments. The risk of heart and liver related problems is caused by iron overload in the body. Donating blood helps in maintaining iron levels and thus reduces the risk of developing heart and liver related problems.

  1. Free Health Checkup:

Donating blood gives you a free health check into your health. A health screening is required before one can donate blood. The health screening would usually include checks for; blood pressure, haemoglobin, Hepatitis B, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis C, Human T-cell lymphotropic virus, Syphilis and others.

  1. Save lives:

It is often said that every donation of a pint of blood, helps save 3 lives. So, a simple act of donating blood as often as possible (2-3 times yearly) helps save the lives of others.

Who is eligible to donate blood?

In Nigeria, donors are pegged to be between the ages of 18 and 65 years.

Eligibility criteria

  • Weight: At least 110 lbs (50 kg).
  • Pulse rate: Between 60 and 100 beats/minute with regular rhythm.
  • Blood pressure: Between 90 and 160 systolic and 60 and 100 diastolic.
  • Pack cell volume (PCV) must be within acceptable levels.

Non-eligibility criteria

  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers cannot donate blood.
  • Consumption of alcohol within the last 24 hours.
  • Patients with cardiac arrest, hypertension, kidney disease or epilepsy.
  • HIV infection, Hepatitis B & C.
  • Acute fever.
  • Recent surgery.

Over the past year, blood stocks in the African region have decreased as movement restrictions were enforced and the fear of COVID infection hindered people from accessing donation sites. The average blood donation rate dropped by 17% in the previous year.

How can Carekojo improve blood donation during this pandemic period?

Carekojo is an appointment scheduling app that allows you schedule appointments at your convenience. The following are some of the benefits of using the Carekojo app:

  • You can find the nearest hospital that accepts blood donation in your area.
  • Schedule an appointment to donate blood on the Carekojo app. This helps you avoid waiting in lines at the hospital.
  • Lower chances of infections by the covid virus or other infections associated with spending time at hospitals.

The benefits of donating blood are generally limitless, so download the Carekojo app today, search for the closest hospital to you, schedule an appointment, and DONATE BLOOD TO SAVE A LIFE!