The Nigerian government is drafting a law to establish a National Blood Service Commission and a network of 17 trauma care centres across the country. The commission is expected to enhance the performance of the National Blood Transfusion Service, NBTS. The draft, which is being prepared by the Federal Ministry of Health, will soon be presented to the Federal Executive Council as an Executive bill. The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at an event organised by the ministry to commemorate the World Blood Donor Day. According to the minister, the bill will grant the NBTS the autonomy it requires to carry out its mandate in consonance with global best practices. “In addition to this, regularisation of the appointments of core technical staff previously engaged on the programme is being pursued in order to ensure that relevant skill sets are available to optimize service delivery at the Blood Service. “The NBTS will thus have a proper mandate to provide safe, quality and adequate blood in an equitable and cost-effective manner to all people resident in Nigeria. This will be executed through a network of 17 centres spread across the six geopolitical zones, including the FCT. “This is consistent with this year’s campaign and brings to fore the urgent need to foster collaborations with relevant agencies such as the Nigerian Red Cross Society, NEMA, Nigerian Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps, Civil Defence Corps & the Nigerian Defence Forces in order to develop an Emergency protocol/ guidelines for action during emergencies,” he added. The minister observed that insufficiency of blood for transfusion has been one of the reasons for high causalities and delay in attending to victims at health facilities in Africa, especially in Nigeria. Mr. Adewole urged Nigerians to be voluntary blood donors as the increase in emergency cases across the country calls for a sufficient and sustainable blood bank. He said emergencies increase the demand for blood transfusion and make its delivery challenging and complex. He said adequate safe blood units during emergencies reduces mortality arising from severe acute blood losses following obstetric emergencies and trauma, especially during road traffic accidents, bomb blasts and collapsed buildings.

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