Dr E. Addo-Yobo, Head of Child Health Directorate of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in Kumasi, has urged heads of educational institutions to participate in voluntary blood donation campaigns.
He said the support of heads of schools and colleges in creating awareness among students, is crucial for sustained voluntary blood donation to help stock the blood bank of the hospital.
Dr Addo-Yobo was speaking at a day’s capacity building workshop, organized by the Transfusion Medicine Unit (TMU) of KATH for selected Heads, Principals and Managers of Senior High Schools, in Kumasi, on Saturday.
Shortage of blood, he said, has been one of the major causes of maternal and infant mortality in hospitals, while at the same time causing palpitations, poor memory, poor cognitive development, heart failure and other health related diseases among patients.
Dr Addo-Yobo stressed the need for heads of schools to organize counseling services for their students, to enable them to understand the importance of blood in health care delivery.
Dr Baffour Awuah, Medical Director of KATH said intermittent blood shortages at the hospital’s blood bank had been one of the hindrances of health care delivery at the hospital.
He said voluntary donation is the only way to promote availability of blood, especially in dealing with emergency situations, such as accidents, and advised students, who are mostly the youth, to donate at all times to support the bank.
Dr Shirley Owusu-Ofori, Head of the TMU said the workshop, which is the first of its kind, would be extended to other organizations, like religious bodies, businesses and the media, as a means of creating greater awareness and encouraging voluntary donation.
She said the fact that the hospital is prescribing blood, under the national health insurance scheme, is putting much pressure on the blood bank and that there was the need for an intensive campaign to ensure regular supply at the blood bank.