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Blood Transfusion Bill will ensure safe, affordable blood for patients — Lawmaker

Mr. Nanbol Daniel, Member, Plateau House of Assembly, says the Blood Transfusion Bill before the Assembly, when passed, will ensure safe and affordable blood for patients.

He, on Friday, in Jos, said that the bill would also address the challenges of safe blood.

He said “we will establish safe, available, and affordable blood transfusion services in the state by encouraging adequate blood donor recruitment, donor blood screening, and collection.

“It will develop strategies for the rational use of blood.

“This bill will promote continuous public enlightenment campaigns on blood donation and system improvement to drive current transfusion practices in the state toward safety and sustenance.

“It will also address the challenge of a supply deficit,” the member representing Langtang North Central Constituency explained.

Daniel, who is the House Committee Chairman on Health, said that “blood transfusion saves lives and improves health but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood.”

According to him, providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of the Plateau Health Care Policy and infrastructure.

The lawmaker recalled that Gov. Simon Lalong launched the ARCHITECT i2000SR Immunoassay Analyzer Abbott in 2019 for the screening of blood in the Zonal Blood Transfusion Service Centre located in Plateau Specialist Hospital.

Daniel told NAN that the team that facilitated the installation of the machine requested support from the Plateau Government in managing the zonal centre, which has state-of-the-art equipment.

The committee chairman said that the best way to manage the centre and other public and private blood transfusion service units is to develop a robust legislative framework.

The framework, he said, would help in blood transfusion regulation in Plateau which would meet the global standards.

He explained that “following series of oversight conducted by the House Committee on Health, we observed that the attainment of blood transfusion safety in Plateau is too demanding due to a number of factors.

“The factors include a shortage of blood, poor implementation of blood transfusion guidelines, and infrastructure deficit.

“They also include high prevalence of Transfusion-Transmissible Infections (TTIs), particularly syphilis, hepatitis, and human immune deficiency virus, hence the need to legislate.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that all activities related to blood collection, testing, processing, storage, and distribution be coordinated at all levels through effective organisation and integrated blood supply networks.

“These are lacking in Plateau State.

“This bill will, therefore, promote the uniform implementation of standards and consistency in the quality and safety of blood and blood products in the state.”

He noted that “WHO also recommends the development of systems, such as hospital transfusion committees and haemovigilance, to monitor and improve the safety of transfusion process.”

The lawmaker pointed out that most private and public hospitals don’t have this committee and where they exist, they were not functional.

He emphasised that the proposed State Committee would work toward enforcing haemovigilance, encourage voluntary unpaid and family/ replacement donors than paid donors geared toward an adequate and reliable supply of safe blood.

“This bill will also address the issue of unnecessary transfusion and unsafe transfusion practices, which always expose patients to the risk of reactions and transfusion-transmissible infections.

When passed into law, it would contain punitive measures for violators of professional ethics.

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