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Senior Doctor Laments Lack of Blood Bags as Nigeria Marks World Sickle Cell Day

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The Chief Medical Director of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Dr. Abdulrahman Abba Sheshe is expressing worry over the inadequacy of blood bags in Nigeria.

Prof. Sheshe, who disclosed this at an event to mark the 2023 World Sickle Cell Day and World Blood Donor Day attributed the scarcity to the failure to produce blood bags locally.

He said blood bags are imported into Nigeria for a minimum price of N4,000 per bag as against its previous price of N200.

He also lamented the low voluntary blood donation in Kano State, while urging residents to donate blood to save lives.

“One of our major problems now is the issue of blood bags. It is very expensive right now because we import them from abroad. Currently, a blood bag is sold for N4,000.

“Another issue is voluntary blood donors are getting scarce lately. This is very sad because a lot of patients are in need of this blood. We are calling on the general public to assist the needy to address these concerns.”

Activities lined up for the day include a blood donation drive, premarital counseling, free screening, a health talk, free pre-blood donation checks, and serological screening.

Sickle Cell Conference Kano

Abdullahi Ibrahim Musa, the administrative manager of Sickle Cell Community, a Kano-based non-profit organization confirmed that sickle cell warriors rarely get blood when in need.

“Lately, we hardly get blood especially when our crisis starts. At times we have to source blood in a neighboring state like Kaduna. But today we are happy that people came out to assist us with their blood, may God bless them,” he said.

According to World Health Organization WHO, about 50 million people are living with SCD globally and Nigeria is the epicenter with about 4 - 6 million people living with the disease.

This means one in four Nigerians has a sickle cell trait.

According to the statistics, about 300,000 newly diagnosed SCD children are born annually worldwide.

Nigeria accounts for 100,000 to 150,000 of those newborns.


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