The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Ms Kachollom Daju, sayd innovation is key to enhancing the availability, safety and effectiveness of blood transfusion in Nigeria.
She said this in Abuja, during the society’s 50th anniversary and Annual General and Scientific Meeting with the theme ‘Our Past, Our Present, Our Future’.
Daju was represented by Dr Kingsley Odiabara, Director, Medical Laboratory Services Division in the ministry.
According to her, advances in science and technology are opening new frontiers in blood transfusion, from improved compatibility testing to the development of artificial blood products.
“These innovations hold the key to enhancing the availability, safety and effectiveness of blood transfusion in Nigeria.
“However, it is important that safety of blood and blood products as well as their quality are addressed by this noble society.
“As we gather here today, let us commit ourselves to the noble goal of ensuring that every citizen who needs blood transfusion can access it with minimal cost, safely and without delay.
“Let us also acknowledge the importance of a strong blood donation culture and infrastructures, as blood donors are the lifeblood of our system.”
Daju said that blood transfusion has been a cornerstone of modern medicine and its impact on healthcare cannot be overstated.
She referred to it as a lifeline for countless patients, a testament to the power of science, and a tribute to the selflessness of blood donors.
While urging the society to work closely with the National Blood Transfusion Commission (NBTC), she enjoined it to go beyond the level of just reading films only.
She said the society should be talking about developing innovative concepts and developing products that would speak to the level of expertise available in Nigeria.
“We should move this society to the next level of technological development because the entire Africa is looking up to Nigeria”, she added.
The Chairman of the meeting, Dr Jafar Momoh, said that over the past 50 years, the society has been a beacon of excellence, pushing the boundaries of medical knowledge and technological advancement to enhance the quality of healthcare in Nigeria and beyond.
He added that the theme of the meeting was a call to action urging the society to harness the remarkable advancements in science and technology to propel the field forward.
“As we face global health challenges and witness the rapid evolution of medical knowledge, it is our responsibility to remain at the forefront of innovation, through local and international collaborations and adapting our practices to ensure the highest standard of patient care.
“Innovation, however, is not solely confined to the laboratory or the operating room. It extends to our approach to patient engagement, education and advocacy.
“Let us also reaffirm our commitment to raising public awareness about the importance of voluntary blood donation and its impact on saving lives.”
Momoh who is a former Chief Medical Director, National Hospital Abuja, said that each drop of blood donated represents a selfless act of kindness, a gift that knows no borders and transcends all differences.
The Director-General of the NBTC, Dr Omale Amedu, said that the commission was established to regulate, coordinate and ensure the availability of blood and blood products in Nigeria.
He also said that all efforts should be made to ensure that blood services in the country lives up to expectations.
He added that blood being life, it was central to every aspect of medicine.
“Whichever field you operate in in medicine you need blood to keep your patient alive and therefore this society is one of the most critical societies in the health sector.
“So I want to challenge you. The commission is there and we have put in place for you 10 years basic plan which should be reviewed as needed.
“However, if you are not there to oil it and make it work, it will be one of those jamboree agencies that will live but not bright enough to achieve its objectives”, he said. (NAN)