Commercial blood dealers have been blamed for the low turn out of blood donor volunteers in the country.
The Zonal Coordinator of National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Daniel Oshiame, who disclosed this in an interview in Benin, also named religion and poor economy among causes of low turnout of blood donor volunteers.
Oshiame who noted that more than 90 per cent of women die during child birth as a result of insufficient blood, said the deficits in the daily blood units from the 17 centres in Nigeria, makes it difficult to close the country’s blood gap with other countries.
“Nigerians need 38, 000 blood units on a daily basis and above 1 million units annually.
“The blood we get now is very little compared to our target. Every day, we need 38,000 blood units and in a year about 1 million or a little bit above that. But right now the way things are, we are not able to meet the target because of so many factors.
“The challenge is that most Nigerians do not understand the importance of blood donation. Also, blood merchants have been a major obstacle. These blood merchants call people and those people will come, donate and pay them.
“Another challenge is religion and economic situation of the country. Most people will prefer to sell blood and get money than to just donate voluntary because of the economic situation,” he said.
Oshiame however added that Edo State has recorded over 500 voluntary non-remunerated blood donation so far in 2019, and another 400 first donors from churches, schools, among others.
“We have had many donors. This year, we have had above 400 regular donors and another 400 from first donors from churches among others.
“We have not been able to meet our target but we thank God for the federal government that have been supporting us and they have released funds and hopefully, we will be on full throttle to reach our target,” he said.