National Blood Transfusion Service,
blood-transfusionNBTS, may soon close shop due to
inadequate funding.
Coordinator of Abuja Centre of National
Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Omo
Izedonmwen, who spoke with Nigerian
Pilot Sunday, said the survival of the
agency is uncertain as it is likely to close
shop in September, when funding from the
principal source is expected to stop.
Izedonmwen warned that except
government provides the necessary funds
for the sustenance of the agency, Nigeria
would soon experience blood scarcity.
According to the blood expert, ‘if this
happens it would cause a direct and
indirect implication that stretches far and
He said, ‘’This means that when NBTS
closes shop it also means that morbidity
would also increase and because we do not
have an alternative yet to take over from
NBTS then it means that there will be a
difficult challenge ahead of us.’’
The expert explained that owing to
the fact that hospital blood banks are
fraught with pit-falls, the NBTS plays the
central coordinating role for the blood
banking system to screen the blood used
on people adding that unscreened blood
transfusion would cause easy transmission
of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis A,B,C and Syphilis
infections amongst other infectious
Izedonmwem also lamented that the
huge resources invested in the NBTS
through training of Specialists, donor
recruiting, laboratory, monitoring and
evaluation experts would amount to a
colossal waste.
‘’For instance about 554 Specialists have
been trained for blood sifting and lots of
resources have gone into training of human
capacity development which would be a
He explained that the NBTS was
established in 2008 through the President’s
relief funds for HIV/ AIDS, PRFA, which
was put in place by President George Bush
of America to help in the fight against AIDS
thereby granting the NBTS funds for the
past 10 years and that by September we
would have completed two circles of five
years each.
Mrs. Helen Goyo, Head Donor Care
Branch, NBTS expressed fear that although
a lot of people are yet to know of voluntary
blood donation, the fate of benefactors
would be dashed except government
takes up the funding with the help of good
spirited Nigerians.
The NBTS needs 4000 units of blood to
service its customers monthly in the FCT
alone, Dr. Ozedonmwem said.