Bamenda Regional Hospital Blood Bank appeals for blood donation to save lives
Some Christians of the Presbyterian Church Azire have donated blood to the blood bank of the Bamenda regional Hospital in response to the appeal for voluntary blood donation to the Blood Bank of the regional hospital, by the director, Dr Denis Nsame.
Seeing the banner indicating a blood donation campaign, one would have thought it was World Blood Donor day but it isn’t the case. The Chief of Service for the Blood Bank at the Bamenda Regional Hospital, Mr. Ako Fidelis Atabon, says the campaign is coming on the hills of a need for blood to be readily available in the bank given that there is a rise in the quest for blood transfusion and the bank cannot wait till it runs dry before it starts a campaign.
The exercise which began in the early hours of Sunday 29th December saw donors benefiting from screening of Hepatitis B & C, HIV, syphilis, blood pressure and malaria and also free medical consultations for those who had any abnormalities after the screening. To Dr Ako Atabong Fidelis, the chief of service for the Bamenda Regional hospital blood transfusion center, donations from a single volunteer is a great step to saving the life of an individual. Mr. Atabon says that the Blood bank at the Bamenda Regional Hospital has been greatly affected due to the current crisis in the Region because most people with safe blood who use to serve as a reservoir have moved and with the security challenges, it is difficult to mobilize people due to fear of the unknown that may occur particularly in remote areas which may lead to lose of lives or material. Should things return to normalcy, patients will no longer need to bring donors, we are going to bring in these voluntary donors, Mr. Atabon added. He equally mentioned that internally displaced persons come to the hospital without donors and the hospital is obliged to save the life than insisting on them getting a donor in such vulnerable situations. After saving them, the only way to replenish the bank is through donations as such.
The turnout according to the Chief of Service for the Blood Bank at the Bamenda Regional Hospital was impressive because out of 45 people who approached the campaign team, 29 safe unit of blood was collected and the rest were not medically fit. It should be noted that coupled with the above tests conducted there are some category of people who are not eligible to donate blood. They include; pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, smokers, females who are on their menstrual period, are not eligible to donate blood. Those who equally recently travelled to Ebola-infested zones, cannot donate because such areas are high risk zones for the Ebola Virus. A person, who has recently suffered from a crisis or has undergone a surgical operation or has recently suffered from a fever, cannot equally be a blood donor.
The Chief of Service for the Blood Bank at the Bamenda Regional Hospital explains that the choice for the use of churches in this campaign is because it is a place that gathers a maximum of people in the particular time.
Belinda mah a donor says donating blood for her is a great honour for her as she is saving lives. She equally thinks so many people die not because they lack money but because of negligence.
Another donor says it is important for him to donate to safe a person’s life today for tomorrow he or his family member might also be in need of blood and somebody will also assist. Hence the issue of people dying because of blood shortage at hospital will be addressed.
Mr. Atabon appreciated all donors who turned out for the donation saying if only one donor turned out, he would still be grateful because he is very positive to the willingness by donors to save lives.
The campaign team will in the coming days move to other areas where the same exercise will be carried to make available sufficient blood at the blood bank of the Bamenda Regional hospital.