The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is partnering the National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG) to ensure a regular supply of blood to the country’s hospitals.
In this direction, the GRA would organise biannual blood donation exercises in April and September every year to stock the various hospital’s blood banks across the country.
Speaking at the maiden blood donation exercise on Thursday, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, the Commissioner-General, said GRA was organising the blood donation as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.
He said the blood donation initiative, the first of its kind, would be extended to other GRA offices nationwide to ensure that GRA contributed massively to the Blood Bank.
“GRA has the wellbeing of staff at heart and this is a social responsibility of an employer who is fully committed to the growth of the economy,” Mr Nti said, and urged staff to show commitment to the blood donation programme and see it as a shared responsibility.
On her part, Dr Justina K Ansah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NBSG, said the Service was able to achieve only 36 per cent for voluntary blood donations nationwide in 2017.
This, she said, was an indication that the country relied more on family relations and friends for blood supply instead of the health system.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that regular voluntary blood donation by one per cent of the population is the minimum requirement to meet a nation’s basic blood needs.
While the WHO recommends a minimum blood collection index (BCI) of 10 per 1,000 population, Ghana’s blood collection index is 6.1, which means that 40 per cent of the demand for blood is unmet.
“The supply gap is largely due to the over-reliance on the family replacement system of blood donation,” Dr Ansah said, adding that there was the need to harness collective efforts to bring about a paradigm shift from family replacement donations to voluntary donations.
She expressed the hope that the partnership with the GRA would help improve the national blood supply system by complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Health and National Blood Service to provide safe and adequate blood and blood products for patients who require blood transfusions.