The Institute of Human Virology is commemorating the World Blood Donor Day, two days ahead of time. Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event, established in 2004, serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their voluntary life-saving gifts of blood.
World Blood Donor Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day, and World AIDS Day.
The Institute of Human Virology is commemorating the day in front of their office. According to Abubakar Abdullahi, a staff of the organization, they chose 12th June, 2014 against the actual day in order to have people on the street to donate, as the proper date is a Saturday.
The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) was established in 2004 as a local organization to address the HIV/AIDS crises in Nigeria through the development of infrastructure for treatment, care, prevention, and support for people living with and those affected by HIV/AIDS but has now expanded its services to other infectious diseases including, cancer, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. IHVN is structured to develop and maintain linkages with local and international organizations in collaborative ways that support the Government of Nigeria’s health sector strategic plans. IHVN key technical and funding partners are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Abubakar explained that it takes about 10minutes to donate blood starting from testing of the donor to donation proper. He stated that the essence of testing is to safeguard the life of the donor and that of the recipient. “Some innocent donors might be suffering from some diseases that are contaminable through blood. When we discover that such blood is not good for transfusion (during post donation test) we inform such donor and advise them to seek for care”, he said. Blood generated during the exercise is distributed to hospitals within FCT.
He advised Nigerians who are eligible to donate blood regularly to do so and not to wait until there is an emergency.