The National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) has agreed to partner National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) in the dissemination of messages on blood safety and voluntary non-remunerated blood donation to the Nigerian public. This disclosure was made by the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim while welcoming the National Coordinator of NBTS, Dr. Omale Joseph Amedu who was on a courtesy visit to the NYSC Director-General in his office, Abuja on Wednesday.
Gen Ibrahim, who eulogized successive batches of Corps Members on their contributions to national development, particularly the present of Corps Members who stood to be counted in the battle against COVID-19 with various inventions and donations of materials such as dispensers, face masks, sanitizers and liquid soaps, among others, revealed that the Scheme mobilizes an average of 350,000 Corps Members annually, which places it on a strategic position to drive the advocacy on blood safety and voluntary non- remunerated blood donation.
“I want to assure you of our cooperation in this regard, as putting the NYSC as a platform to sensitize Nigerians on your mandate is a welcome development. We will appoint Desk Officer that will liaise with you to kickstart the process”, Ibrahim said. Earlier, the National Blood Transfussion Service had decried the low level of public awareness on voluntary blood donation in Nigeria.
The agency said this emanated from deep cultural myths and misconceptions on voluntary blood donation by members of the public. The National Coordinator, Dr. Amedu, who sought the partnership with the NYSC Scheme lamented the wide gap in demand and supply of safe blood units in the country.
He described NYSC Scheme as a veritable medium to achieve the mandate of national re-orientation on safe blood donation. He added that the NBTS is poised to establish a National Strategic Blood Reserve for emergencies through Public-Private- Partnership that would create jobs, reduce poverty and generate revenue for the Government. “The role of the youths in achieving these concepts cannot be over- emphasized. To achieve these initiatives, there is need to mobilize the youths which constitute about 85% of the voluntary non-renumerated blood donor pool”.
“In view of the need to have a robust national blood system and key into the World Health Organization’s Action Framework to advance access to safe, effective and quality assured blood production, the management of NBTS wishes to strengthen her mandate in collaboration with the NYSC”, Amedu said.
Speaking further, he stated that the NBTS is working towards achieving One Million Safe Blood Units Initiative which will ensure that only safe blood is available for transfusion. Amedu requested for the formation of National Blood Transfusion Service Safety Club NYSC Community Development Service (CDS) group and organization of health seminars during NYSC Orientation programme held nationwide.
He said the synergy with the NYSC would enable every NYSC voluntary donour know their blood group, free of charge, and also access free health check-up whenever they present themselves for pre-donation counselling and blood donation.