8, June 2016
In prelude to the 2016 World Blood Donor Day to be commemorated on June 14, this year, the National Blood Transfusion Program on June 7, 2016 in Yaounde organised a session to train some 20 media practitioners on the right information to diffuse to the public as far as blood donation is concerned. During the training, it was revealed that blood donation is a voluntary act that should be practiced by everybody.
The Permanent Secretary for the National Blood Transfusion Program, Dr Appolonie Noah Owona said when listening to the radio as well as reading newspapers, one gets the impression that media practitioners do not have sufficient knowledge on blood donation which is different from blood transfusion. In Cameroon, Dr Noah Owona explained, the first problem of blood transfusion is blood donation. She stressed that there is need for all stakeholders to know that they have to sensitise the population to know that their blood is needed.
Besides an equipped infrastructure for blood transfusion, she said there is need for blood which should come from people in the society. That is why the media is important in letting the population know that they need to donate their blood. She stressed that blood is not sold in Cameroon. But for blood to be qualified for transfusion, that blood needs to be tested. As such, the money people give to have blood transfusion is that which is used to qualify the blood for transfusion.
She argued that this money is quite minimal as compared to that which is given in developed countries. An administrator at the National Blood Transfusion Program, Stephan Assako said the problem of blood transfusion is serious as some 400,000 blood banks are needed each year in the country and few people are ready to give their blood. Thus, the program needs to organise its system through a special communication strategy which will encourage citizens to cultivate the habit of freely donating their blood after every three months.