Head of Laboratory Services at the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC), Mr. Pascal Hodogbe, has called on the general public to engage in blood donation exercises even as the year comes to an end and the Christmas festivities begin.
Speaking to UniversNews at a blood donation exercise held by the University of Ghana Medical Center (UGMC), in collaboration with the National Blood Service Ghana, on December 6, 2022, Mr. Pascal Hodogbe stated that blood donation exercises are carried out by the UGMC to support the National Blood Service Ghana to mobilize units of blood to ensure the smooth running of the center’s operations.
He called on Ghanaians to, in the spirit of Christmas, donate blood as a gift to patients in hospitals who are in need of it.
“The number of people who donate blood does not meet the demand for blood. So as part of our efforts to support the National Blood Service, we institute this monthly blood donation exercise at the hospital to be able to mobilize some units to obligate to support the care that we provide for patients when the year is winding to an end. People are thinking of Christmas where to get money to provide things for their families, so that’s blood donation is one of the least things they would think about.
It makes it very difficult to mobilize people in December to donate blood, but we hoping and praying that and relying on the goodwill of the few that will be willing to do it as a Christmas bonus, a Christmas gift to the person who is going to receive the blood. So we thought that despite those challenges, we still want to push for the exercise in December”. he said
Mr. Hodogbe went on to emphasize the importance of blood donation, noting that it benefits not only those in need but also helps the donors acquire free health screening and education on some related health issues.
“Some of the benefits of blood donation is that the body rejuvenates itself. You have created space for new blood cells to be produced by the bone marrow, so you rejuvenate the whole immune or the whole blood reduction system. The other benefit is that it’s more or less a free health screening for you as a donor. You don’t need to go and pay for that. If you go through the process of blood donation, we’ll do a free health screening for you, which you would have paid for if not because of the blood donation, which will cost you good money maybe 500 cedis or more”. he stated
Some of the donors who also spoke to UniversNews expressed their delight at the painless process of donating and encouraged others to do the same.
“As a health worker we’ve faced quite a number of challenges regarding times where you need blood for your patients, and then you are told that there’s no blood, so yes, in our own little way, trying to increase the chances of patients who need blood. Yeah, this is a simple process. so just get your vitals checked, and a few other things within 30 minutes you are done it isn’t any big deal so once you are fit, i encourage everyone to try and donate,” a donor said.
“It was stress-free, it was cool, and I’ve been donating, so I take the chance to run certain tests, it helps me to get to know certain steps. At least save a life.” one of the donors said.
“So that’s my first time donating. There was no queue. It was quick. I got to know some things I didn’t know. So it was okay. And also, I am in the orthopedic ward, and I see how people lose blood so I thought it would be a good idea to voluteer and donate blood to help others but i would advice other people to doante”. another donor said.
“My uncle has been admitted here so i had to donate so that going forward, he could get blood for his treatment at the moment. So that’s why I mainly came to donate. I would also encourage people to donate because I realized that in November, December, there’s less blood in hospitals nationwide so during emergencies like this hospitals really struggle a lot to get blood for patients. So Ghanaians should take opportunities such as these to always come and donate”. he said.