The Programme Director, Timilehin Leukemia Foundation, Mrs. Oluwadamilola Oyedunle, has said that Lagos State has no blood bank capacity to cater to emergency situations.
Oyedunle disclosed this on Saturday in Lagos on the sidelines of the TLF street walk and awareness campaign for the September Day Blood Donation Drive for leukemia patients.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that September World Leukaemia Day is a global campaign across the globe with Sept. 4 set aside for people to come together to help raise awareness of leukaemia.
Oyedunle said that the non-specific signs and symptoms of leukaemia were difficult to spot, adding that leukaemia accounted for more than 300,000 deaths globally.
He disclosed that judging from the emergency situations in Lagos, the state clearly lacks adequate capacity to cater to the needs of patients in need of blood requiring interventions.
“We are calling for the support of well-meaning Nigerians: We need to support these voluntary blood donations to save the lives of leukemia patients.
“Incidentally, Lagos State lacks the capacity to cater to the blood needs of patients during emergency situations. That fact became apparent during the last accident that involved a BRT Bus and a train.
“Most of the patients involved in the accident could not access blood from the banks which increased the mortality from the accident. I think this is preventable.
“The accident involving another BRT bus where some of the victims were scampering for blood from one hospital to another is another instance. This type of information leaves our hearts bleeding,” he said.
Oyedunle also said that Lagos State with such a high population needed to sensitise the citizens more about blood donation to stock up the blood banks.
“There is more awareness to be created, especially for a state like Lagos State with such a high population. We need to be prepared for emergency situations.
“We have enough potential donors in Lagos State, but there is yet to be adequate awareness. If we have the needed awareness, people will donate willingly.
“If Lagos State can get at least 10 per cent of its citizens to donate blood, we might have gained much ground and have, if not enough, gone more than halfway.
“TLF is creating awareness and educating people on the need for voluntary blood donations; we want to continue to tell people its importance,” she said.
A participant, Miss Rosemary Eyo, told NAN that she was excited to be part of the life-saving activities which were part of the sensitisation.
“I am glad to be part of this because it is a life-saving exercise which every well-meaning Nigerian should be interested in.
“I got to know about this programme after watching the founder, Mrs. Modupe Bamidele, on a live programme and I am determined to be part of it.
“I will want more Nigerians to be part of this initiative to donate more blood to the blood banks,” she said.
Another participant, Adetimilehin Ayinde, commended the founder of TLF for the selfless service of saving lives, especially leukemia patients.
“What we have here is great; voluntary blood donation is a good initiative I am glad to be part of.”
TLF will also conduct a blood donation exercise on Sept. 4 at Ikeja.