Blood banks experience severe shortages amid COVID-19, says Dr Srofenyo

The director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH) says due to the COVID-19 pandemic volunteers fear going to the hospitals to donate blood

Dr Emmanuel Srofenyo, the director of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH), says the COVID-19 pandemic has affected blood mobilisation and has had a negative impact on the health sector.

He said volunteer blood donors feared visiting hospitals to donate blood and, as such, the blood banks had experienced severe shortages.

Dr Srofenyo said this at a blood donation exercise, organised by the hospital in Accra.

He said due to the referral nature of the hospital, it received patients from all over the country, hence the requirement for a loaded bloodstock to properly cater for its numerous clients.
He, therefore, appealed to the public to donate blood to save lives.

Florence Boahen, the head of the Bleeding Room at GARH, explaining the process of blood donation, said donors had to go through registration, checking of blood pressure and weight, an interview for any current medications and other underlying health conditions.

She said people with health conditions such as asthma, malaria and ulcer were not allowed to donate blood.

She said nursing mothers, persons who had had surgery for less than six months or received blood for less than six months were prohibited from giving out blood.

Boahen said the donor’s blood would be sampled and tested with copper sulphate to ascertain if the donor had enough blood to give and also check for hepatitis, syphilis and gonorrhoea.
She said when the test was successful, the donor would go on with the donation but a donor with positive results for any of the illness mentioned above would be counselled.

Boahen said the process was safe and reliable and entreated all Ghanaians between the ages of 18 to 57 to donate to improve the bloodstock of the Hospital.

Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, the Member of Parliament of Klottey Korle, who took part in the exercise, encouraged the citizenry to donate blood to help the Hospital rejuvenate its stock.
She donated bottles of drinking water and drinks to the Hospital in support of the donation exercise.

Nutifafa Amedzro, who had donated blood for about 25 times, told the Ghana News Agency that blood donation had become a habit for him after he accompanied a friend to donate whiles in school years ago.

“I tried for the first time and since then I give blood whenever there is an exercise such as this. I feel like donating because my blood could save someone,” he said.

Andriana Baffoe Bonnie, a student, who donated voluntarily, said it was her small way of saving lives and encouraged the public to donate blood to save lives, saying it was not scary.

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