The Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) has said voluntary blood donation was woefully inadequate to meet the blood demands of the Hospital.
It said most of the hospital’s blood supply was from family replacement donors and a 100 per cent blood collection from the voluntary unpaid blood donor remained a major challenge.
Dr Leticia Lokko, a haematologist at the hospital, said the blood donors gave the gift of life and more lives will be saved if a larger section of the society volunteer to donate blood regularly.
She was speaking at the World Blood Donor Day celebration marked at the CCTH during which the Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) presented a GHC 300,000.00 blood bank building with a reception, screening room, blood storeroom, a laboratory, and refrigerators, among others to the Hospital.
The Day is celebrated on June 14, every year, globally and the theme for this year is ‘give blood and keep the world-beating”.
It is to bring to light the important role blood donors play in the healthcare system and to encourage more people to become blood donors.
Data on blood services from 2016 to 2019 showed that the percentage of voluntary donations in Ghana was around 35 per cent, revealing the huge gap in attaining the WHO’s goal of 100 per cent voluntary blood donations.
In 2017, Ghana collected a total of 162,226 units of blood out of which 36 per cent were given by voluntary unpaid blood donors.
“The remaining 64 per cent were from family replacement donors. This system does not cater for emergencies and hence the need to urgently put in measures to curb the menace of constant blood shortage,” Dr Lokko added.
She hinted that blood donation exercises were greatly affected in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the national blood service recording a 17 per cent voluntary blood donation.
She underscored the need for Ghanaians to voluntarily donate blood because it was a critical resource in the health sector for infants with severe anaemia, pregnant women who experience postpartum haemorrhage, trauma, surgeries, treatment of malaria and, sickle cell disease.
Dr Eric Kofi Ngyedu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hospital, noted that the fundamental human principles underlying voluntary blood donation were altruism, empathy and kindness.
He said the availability of blood could stop preventable deaths, especially for mothers and children.