About 24,483 units of blood were collected and screened from voluntary blood donors through the 17 centres of the National Blood Transfusion Service network in 2019, the Federal Government said on Sunday.
The government also stated that in same year, 19,676 units of blood were issued to various hospitals nationwide for transfusion.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said this on Sunday in a statement in Abuja in commemoration of the 2020 World Blood Donor Day with the theme, ‘Safe Blood Saves Lives.’
He said, “Blood donation is needed all over the world to assure individuals and communities of access to safe and quality-assured blood and blood products whenever the need arises.”
According to Ehanire, with a population of over 200 million, Nigeria’s estimated blood need was about two million units per year.
He said, “During this COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of safe blood is at risk, because regular blood donation drives have had to be postponed or deferred, and regulations for self-isolation, lockdown and fear of infection have hindered the usual blood donors from accessing blood donation centres.
“Transport and trade restrictions have also led to disruptions of global supply chains, putting countries at risk of shortages of critical supplies and equipment used for blood donation, processing, testing and transfusion, to patients in need of blood.”