Blood donations are essential in ensuring individuals and communities have adequate access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality blood and blood products.
Blood and blood products are vital in the management of many medical conditions and emergencies including women who bleed during pregnancy and childbirth, children who suffer from severe anemia due to malaria and malnutrition, amongst others.
Blood donations are an integral part of universal health coverage and is a key component in any effective health care system.
World Blood Donor day is commemorated to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving contributions. It also seeks to raise awareness on the need for consistent blood donations to ensure that everyone has access to supplies of blood and blood products at any point in time.
This year’s theme ‘Safe Blood for All” is intended to raise awareness on the significant role voluntary blood donations play in achieving the goal of universal health coverage. It is a call to action for governments, national health authorities, national blood services and individuals to provide the necessary resources and ensure that the right systems and infrastructures are put in place and maintained to increase blood collection from voluntary donors. Also, to provide quality donor care and to finally promote and implement appropriate clinical use of blood with surveillance of the chain of blood transfusion.
So how can you donate blood in Ghana?
You can give blood to save a life at any of the blood donor facilities of the National Blood Service located at the following places:
- In Accra at the Southern Area Blood Centre in Korle Bu
- In Kumasi at the Central Area Blood Centre in the Transfusion Medicine Unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
- In Tamale at the Northern Area Blood Centre in the Tamale Teaching Hospital
Alternatively, you can give blood at your district, regional or teaching hospitals or during blood donation exercises anywhere.
Here are a few things you should do before donating blood.
- Eat foods rich in iron. This includes foods like kontomire and other leafy greens, beans, red meat, fish, chicken, etc.
- Eat at least 3 hours before donating
- Drinks lots of water! At least 16 ounces of water.
- Get a good night’s sleep before the day.