The Health Ministry has indicated it will be designing a programme to enable staff of the ministry to donate blood to the Ghana Blood Bank on a regular basis.
Health Minister, Alex Segbefia said the programme is aimed at encouraging the public to cultivate the habit of donating blood to help address shortage of blood at the bank.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has said blood donations in the continent rose from 3.9 million in 2013 to 4.4 million in 2016 representing 11.4 percent increase with the space of three years.
In a developing country like Ghana, there are certain deep-seated misconceptions about blood donations.
Majority of the people believe the process of blood transfusion is entirely not safe increasing one’s risk of contracting HIV-AIDS.
But, speaking at a ceremony held in Accra to mark the World Blood Donor Day under the theme “Blood connect us”, Mr Segbefia called on Ghanaians to reconsider their position about blood donation.
“I will encourage everybody regardless of what you are doing and where you are to find at least 30 minutes or one hour in your year period and donate blood,” he said.
The minister believes this attitude when cultivated by Ghanaians “will go a long to solving one of the simplest, but major problems that we have in this country.”
He stated, a programme which gives the opportunity for staff of the Health Ministry to voluntarily donate blood to the bank will help to encourage others to get involved.
“That is one of the things I am going to do to get the staff of the ministry to begin to donate blood on a regular basis and that will become a driving force for the rest of the country,” he said.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the acting Head of Korle Bu Blood Bank, expressed his satisfaction over the surge of donors.
He noted, “The amount of blood we’ve had from voluntary donors has gone up significantly and if you look at the beginning of the year to this point in June, for instance, there’s been an increase of over 30 percent compared to the same period last year.”
This he said is attributable to organisations in the country who are helping to improve the awareness about the safety of the system.
“And we believe that as more and more people realise that you don’t have to wait for a relative to require a transfusion before you can donate blood we will get more donors in the future,” he added.
“With that you and I are doing a lot to save somebody you may not know,” he noted.