An NGO, Timilehin Leukemia Foundation (TLF), on Tuesday applauded the ‘Door-to-Door’ blood donation awareness by Lagos State Government, aimed at ensuring safe blood in the banks.
Founder of TLF, Janet Oyedele, gave the commendation at the 5th anniversary of the foundation, held at the Textile Labour House, Agindingbi, Ikeja.
Our correspondent, reports that the Lagos State Government, through the State Blood Transfusion Service, inaugurated the `Door to Door’ blood donation awareness to sensitise residents to the benefits of voluntary blood donation.
Oyedele said that adequate blood in banks would go a long way in assisting Leukaemia patients, and urged other states to step up campaigns for voluntary blood donation.
“I have to commend Lagos State Government for its blood donation drive that it embarked on from Jan. 1.”
“From that time, the blood transfusion unit has been canvassing in the streets of Lagos, creating awareness on the need for adequate blood donations because blood is the most essential in treating leukaemia.”
“Blood is as important as chemotherapy, before chemotherapy is done, there will be adequate blood where a patient will need as much as five pints of blood per operation.”
“If we have enough blood in the bank, we would have gone half way in helping those in need of blood, not only leukaemia patients alone,” she said.
The President of (NUTGTWN), Comrade John Adaji, in his address, pledged the union’s support to initiatives that would save lives.
“For us in NUTGTWN, we strongly believe that no amount of sacrifice and effort is too much to restore lives and dignity of life. Those who die daily due to genetic disorders of the blood are potentials in the society.”
“They are potential doctors, lawyers, engineers, and others that will help our country grow; we must help those living with the disease to live a meaningful life.”
“There is no better time to do this than today that we are celebrating the Valentine day. Let us put smiles on the face of our brothers and sisters by donating blood.”
“I also want to call on the government at all levels to urgently give the desired attention to our health sector to ensure a healthy people,” Adaji said.
In an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of the event, Oyedele urged government to intensify efforts at passing the bill on medical tourism, which seeks to ban government officials from going out of the country for medical care.
“We need to kill medical tourism before it kills our health sector, we are losing our best brains to other countries which does not augur well for the common man.”
“We should have patients coming to Nigeria for treatment and not the other way round. Nigeria is blessed with competent doctors who are daily enticed with better remuneration abroad.”
“Government should place more premium on medical infrastructure, adequate remuneration for health personnel that put their lives on the line for people,” she said.
On what other efforts the foundation was making to assist leukaemia patients, Oyedele said that the TLF foundation was planning to fund their medical trips abroad marrow transplant.
“The wish of my only son that died of leukemia on Dec. 25, 2014, was to care for others. I cannot do it alone, I need all the support I can get to achieve this.”
“I want to thank my union, National Union of Textile and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) for supporting me thus far, and we also thank the Lagos State government for their support,” she said.
It was reported that part of activities marking the annual event were free blood donation by members of the public, health and fitness talk, among others.