“Donating Blood is an act of Solidarity.”
The World Blood Donor Day serves to remind us of the value of Blood and Blood Donations in saving lives across the world. Today also serves to appreciate all Blood donors and create more awareness towards Blood Donations, especially in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, there is urgency in the access to Blood during healthcare. However, there are limited facilities and voluntary Blood donors which is both detrimental to healthcare & lead to loss of lives.
Most Adults can donate Blood. However, there are some basic requirements and eligibility guidelines which include:
Any person between 18 and 65 years can donate blood. In some countries, Nigeria inclusive, 16-17 year-olds can also donate if they meet other criteria like physical fitness. Appropriate consent has to be obtained too.
A donor should weigh at least 50kg, this is because the amount of blood your body contains is related to your weight and height.
3. HEALTH STATUS
Generally, a donor is supposed to be in good health. If you have a cold, flu, sore throat, malaria or any minor and major infection, you cannot donate. A sick person shouldn’t be donating. If you just had a tattoo, it is recommended to wait for 6 months.
4. HEMOGLOBIN LEVEL
Hemoglobin is a term to describe the level of oxygen-transporters in the blood. Remember that oxygen transportation is a vital function of blood. One cannot donate blood if their hemoglobin level is below minimum for blood donation. The minimum is 12g/dL for females and 13g/dL for males.
Someone who is engaged in risky sexual activity, had a positive HIV/AIDS test, or uses recreational drugs will be deferred from donating. Each country with its own behavior eligibility criteria but these are the basics.
It is not advisable to donate during menstruation. Your body will make up for losses from menstruation. Don’t give it extra work. For the guys, congrats! This criteria got nothing on you.
7. PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING
A pregnant woman should not donate. I mean, your body is supporting another human already. Same with breastfeeding mothers. It is recommended to wait at least 9 months after giving birth and 3 months after the baby has been weaned before a woman can donate blood.
According to WHO, travel to areas where mosquito-born infections like malaria and dengue are endemic may result in temporary deferral. if you are not sick with malaria or any ailment at all, you can donate.
If you meet all of these criteria and you wish to donate, please go to the nearest health facility to you. You’ll be guided on how to go about it.
Did you know?
O negative (O-) blood group is the most valuable blood type. We call them universal donors!