As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate World Leukaemia day, World Health Organization Year 2020 repot says the disease has caused over 300,000 deaths worldwide. Leukemia is cancer of the blood
The report also states that over 437,000 people across the world are diagnosed with Leukaemia every year and an average of 1000 people every day.
At this year’s celebration in Lagos a Lagos based Non-Government Origination, Timilehin Leukaemia Foundation to the battle against Leukaemia through donation of blood to the streets, where Lagosians freely volunteered to donate blood to save lives of victims.
At Agidingbi, Ikeja where the advocacy event on Leukaemia and voluntary blood donation held the Agency quoted the host of the Ikeja blood donation and Chairman of the Mechanic and Spare Parts dealers, Mr Andy Umeh said that artisans had been strong supporters of the exercise in the past years.
“We have come a long way in supporting blood donation in this workplace with Timilehin Foundation, some members and I coming to donate blood regularly.
“We are well aware of the situation in the country where it is evident that the government cannot do everything for us; we must also do our own part looking after our brothers.
“This exercise is part of our widows’ mite donating the blood that God has given us freely to others freely; we have also been encouraging other members to do same.
“I believe that we should be part of the solutions to our societal challenges. We have people in need of this blood and we should endeavor to give them chance to survive,’’ he said.
Narrating the various gains and benefits drivable from blood donation, some of the donors, in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) agreed that the exercise had no adverse or side effect but was of great benefits.
One of the donors, Mrs Blessing John, 25, described the exercise as a life fulfilling one she had done in recent times.
“This is an exercise I have not been involved in until today, but I found it life fulfilling because I am satisfied that I am able to support those that are in need of blood.
“My first motive of coming is to save a life as I was told. I was surprised that I didn’t feel any pains or discomfort at all during the exercise; so this gives me more joy.
“I am calling on youths to embrace blood donation to save others who are in need of it.
“I have seen many people who are critically ill and in need of blood; this exercise is important to saving such people,’’ she said.
For Taiwo Yusuf, a cake designer, blood donation has become a way of life which she often did willingly.
“I am a regular blood donor. I have done this about eight times now. There is nothing to be scared about when donating blood. For me, it’s just about saving lives.
“I have a nephew who is a Sickle Cell patient and I know the importance of blood transfusion and the process of getting blood.
“When donating blood, the donor only needs to have eaten and be sound enough for the exercise; there is nothing untoward about it. We need more people to embrace blood donation,’’ she said.
Yusuf’s twin sister, Kehinde told NAN that there was no negative consequence in donating blood, adding that the wrong perception that the bloods were resold was unfounded.
“Sometimes, people do have misconception that the blood that they donate is sold to those who are in need of it; but this is not the case.
“The blood has to go through some processes before transfusion to those in need of it. We really need to get more people involved in this exercise,’’ she said.
Sikiru Sulaiman, an auto mechanic, told NAN that being a first time donor was a bit scary for him, but with assurances of negative effects by the counsellors, he was satisfied to have donated blood.
“When I was called to donate blood, I was scared because I thought it would be a painful process, but I was counselled about it and I went through without any complaint.
“I should do more of this because even though it is free, we are provided with refreshment and a blood tonic was given to me, so I lost nothing,’’ he said.
The convener of 2021 blood donation and Director, Timilehin Leukaemia Foundation, Mrs Janet Oyedele, thanked the donors for volunteering and urged many more Nigerians to support people with the deadly cancer, Leukaemia.
“I thank everyone who has risen to this occasion by donating blood. This is a free service which is not in any way backed up with monetary compensation.
“It is also the most valued service to donate blood to save people living with leukaemia who are short of blood.
“I to appeal for more support from Nigerians towards achieving the target of one million people that will donate blood so that we can save more lives in our hospitals,’’ she said.
Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service was conspicuously in attendance at the exercise.