To maintain an adequate supply of blood at the various hospitals across the country, MTN Ghana has held its annual blood donation exercise in Takoradi.
The exercise was in collaboration with the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital, TakoradI Hospital, as well as the Nagel Memorial Adventist Hospital.
It was on the theme ‘save-a-life’, and attracted hundreds of people to three location (Sekco, Takoradi and Shama).
It is expected that at the end of the blood donation exercise, 3,500 pints of blood will have been collected across the country.
At the blood donation exercise in Takoradi, Maxwell Obeng Manu – a second-hand clothing dealer, explained to the B&FT that: “This is my sixth time of participating in this exercise; it has really helped me to save the life of my wife during child-birth, as well as other two family members since I had the card to show at the various hospitals and it was easier for me to get pints of blood.
“This is an annual exercise that should be participated in by a lot of people,” he advised.
According to Madam Felicia Yeboah, a newspaper vendor: “This is my first time of participating; I came here because my son almost lost his life last year since there was no blood at the blood bank, and we had to bring about six people before we could get two pints of blood to save him”.
She applauded MTN Ghana for the initiative and encouraged a lot of people to donate blood to the various blood banks across the country.
Mohammed Tiyuniba, Acting Regional Senior Manager of MTN, said since 2011 the Valentine’s Day Blood donation exercise has saved a lot of lives.
“We have always had one thing in mind: saving the lives of people who need blood. We have recorded so many heartwarming stories of people whose lives have been saved through this exercise,” he added
He explained that: “One of the stories which touched me so much was this. One of our customers whose baby was critically ill needed a blood transfusion urgently. The baby was saved at the point of death. Can you imagine what would have happened if they had run out of blood? We have had so many testimonies from customers who have told us how their relatives needed life-saving blood transfusions and received care because of this initiative”.
Globally, he said, blood transfusions help patients undergoing surgery and other medical complications that require blood.
“Women experience complications during childbirth; newborn and premature babies need blood to live; the Health Organisation estimates that one to three percent of the population need to become blood donors,” he said.
He said according to the National Blood Service, Ghana has an estimated population-based blood requirement of 270,000 units of blood – but only 160,000 units of blood are collected, which leaves the country with a deficit of 40%.
“This why the MTN’s Save a Life campaign is very critical. We have made phenomenal progress with this initiative since it started, thanks to the MTN Foundation, our staff volunteers and our donors who put in a lot of effort to make this happen,” he said.
“From a little over 100 pints of blood that was recorded in the first exercise, we have achieved great successes. Today we hope to collect 3,500 pints from 19 bleeding centres set up across the 10 regions of Ghana,” Mr. Tiyuniba said.
He pointed out that since MTN started this exercise, about 9,500 pints of blood have been collected: “We are looking forward to recording the 10,000 pints milestone”.