August declared as blood donation month – NIC commissioner

August declared as blood donation month - NIC commissioner

Dr. Justice Yaw Ofori, Commissioner Insurance-National Insurance Commission (NIC) has declared August as blood donation month for the insurance industry.

He made this declaration at the closing ceremony of the first blood donation ceremony of the industry at the National Insurance Commission auditorium in Accra last week Tuesday.

The closing ceremony was attended by representatives of the National Blood Service, Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana, Chartered Insurance Institute Ghana and the West African Insurance Association (WAICA).

Speaking at the ceremony, the Commissioner of Insurance stated that the exercise under the auspices of the National Blood Services couldn’t have come at a better time, as the COVID-19 pandemic had taken a toll on gestures of this nature – leading to a dwindling stock while accident victims, pregnant women in labour cry out in need of blood to survive.

“I therefore urge all corporate entities and state institutions to take a cue from this campaign to save lives.”

In justifying the initiative, the Commission’s speech couldn’t have been complete without a quote from famous Russian author and multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Leo Tolstoy: “If you feel pain, you’re alive. If you feel other people’s pain, you’re a human being”.

A renowned Cellular Pathologist and former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, has given a clarion call to the Bank of Ghana, financial institutions and other state bodies in the country to voluntarily embark on regular blood donation exercises.

The call, according to the former Head of the Pathology Department at the University of Ghana Medical School, is necessary to help stock blood-banks across the country – which are fast running out of blood needed to save lives of people in need.

Prof. Akosa was speaking at a ceremony as the Guest Speaker to climax the end of a nationwide blood donation exercise embarked on by the insurance industry in Ghana since it was launched on August 19, 2021 by the Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori.

The renowned Professor cited superstition as one of the challenges creating lack of interest in voluntary blood donations, and established the fact that nothing bad happens to anyone who donated blood. He stated: “The body has a capacity to regenerate itself, and even in regenerating itself you would say that your body has given itself a booster during that period of regeneration”.

The month of August has therefore been declared by the Insurance Industry as the Ghana Insurance Industry Blood Donation Month. On this, Prof. Akosa appealed to the central bank and the Civil Service to designate a month for their staff to donate blood. “What if Dr. Addison came out to say that if the Insurance Commission has taken August, the banks will take April or March – just a month preceding Easter, and he as Governor of the banking service can then marshal the entire banking system including rural banks, including all the financial institutions, and my God, will that not help?” he asked.

He suggested that the spirit of volunteerism should be inculcated in Senior High School students, especially for blood donation purposes.

He commended the NIC for the initiative and all regulated insurance entities for rallying behind the Commissioner to make the 2-month long campaign a success.

Other speakers at the ceremony included the Chief Executive Officer of the National Blood Service, Dr. Justina Ansah, who said continuous and voluntary donation is critical to replenishing the blood-banks. She explained that the NIC’s novel initiative is a move in the right direction, as she described blood as an un-manufacturable drug that can only be made available through voluntary donations.

Mrs. Kokui Selormey-Hanson, a voluntary blood donation advocate who herself had her life saved through blood donation, used the platform to encourage people to donate freely. She indicated that blood cannot be sold though the processing comes at a cost, and that should not be reason for people not wanting to donate blood freely: “For you never know when it could be you or any close relation in need,” she admonished.

The 2021 donation campaign saw over 800 units of blood donated by the insurance industry employees, and was under the theme ‘Donate blood, save a life; if you do it for someone, you do it for yourself’.

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