Most people who have donated blood do so for humanitarian reasons and not because they expect anything in return. However these set of people could be hitting two birds with one stone as recent reve3 have shown. They could be adding value to humanity and also to themselves. Recent developments show that blood donation lowers calories and also improves body’s fitness.
According the Blood Safety Programme Manager, Instituite of Human Virology of Nigeria (IHVN), Mr Abdulahi Abubakar, blood donation actually improves body fitness in addition to lowering calories.
He made this revelation in Abuja on Tuesday during a blood donation drive to mark the World Blood Donor Day. Abubakar explained that donating one pint of blood(450ml) results in removing 650 calories from the donor’s body.
The theme of this years celebration was “blood donation as an action of solidarity ” ; and had the slogan “Be there for somebody else”
Abubakar emphasised how blood donation saves lives every year, putting smile on the receiver’s face. He went further to explain on how blood donation can be useful in helping patients who suffer from deadly health conditions live longer.
He also talked about the life saving role of blood donation in maternal and child care; and also in emergency situations of man made and natural disasters.
Some other facts on blood donation according to Abubakar was that it enhances the production of new blood cells; adding “When blood is withdrawn, the donor’s body immediately begins to replace the lost blood within 24 hours of donation”.
And that “All of the red blood cells the donor loses during donation are completely replaced within one month to two months”.
He emphasized that the best way of ensuring enough safe blood supply for the health system was through voluntary and unpaid regular blood donations.
Also speaking at the event, Fawehinmi Akindele, Safety and Security Officer, IHVN, emphasized that donating blood isn’t painful but rather is an exercise where much is gained.
”I have been donating blood for 22 years now and I don’t regret it; I donate every three months and am glad my blood has been saving lives”.
He also said, ”I used to suffer high blood pressure but I realised that each time I donate blood, my blood pressure reduces to normal ; so donating blood reduces my blood pressure tremendously,”
Akindele used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to form the habit of donating blood ; as they don’t know whose life their blood would save.
In his own speech a regular donor, Ezeibe Ikechukwu, talked about having peace each time he donated blood. He talked about the sacred nature of blood and how donating to save lives is a precious and rewarding experience.
”I will do this over and over again because the purpose is to help someone who is dying,” he said.
Nigerians must take this as a clarion call to make regular blood donation a habit as its actually a healthy habit in addition to saving lives.