There is no gainsaying that Nigerians are yet to imbibe the habit of donating blood. There is this morbid fear about blood donation that discourages them. So, when a call for blood is made, only a handful of Nigerians usually respond.
To put this in perspective, the Nigerian national blood agency, NBTS revealed that 10% of the nation’s population is expected to donate voluntarily to meet the nation’s blood demand; however, out of 1.7 million units of blood needed, only a meagre 49,908 voluntarily donated units were recorded for 2014.
This is the case in the country despite the high maternal mortality rate which is put at 814 deaths per 100,000 live births. The main cause of these deaths is postpartum hemorrhage which is defined as the loss of too much blood within 24 hours after a woman gives birth according to Maureen Ume, a gynaecologist with the National Hospital, Abuja
In Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city only 43 percent of the 185,000 pints of blood required each year are collected. This means there is a serious shortage of blood in Lagos as well as in other states around the country.
To deal with this shortage, Temie Giwa-Tubosun in December 2015, founded LifeBank, an e-health app that connects blood banks with hospitals in Lagos.
According to Giwa-Tubosun, “LifeBank is a platform that makes blood available when and where it is needed in Nigeria to save lives. We mobilize blood donations, take inventory of all blood available in the country, and deliver blood in the right condition to the point of need.”
With Lifebank, we hope that the attitude of Nigerians towards blood donation with change and more and more Nigerians will no longer lose their lives because of lack of blood in the blood banks.