In marking of the world Blood Donor Day, the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria (IHVN) sheds light on the benefits of blood donation.

The Virology Institute says regular blood donation improves body fitness, lowers calories and helps produce and maintain required level of iron in human body.

Mr. Abdullahi Abubakar, the Blood Safety Programme Manager, IHVN disclosed this at a blood donation drive in Abuja on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was to mark World Blood Donor Day, with theme: “Blood Donation and Universal Access to Safe Blood Donation: Safe Blood for All.”

Abubakar explained that donating one pint of blood (450 ml) could remove 650 calories from the donor’s body.

He reminded that transfusion of blood helps save millions of lives every year and could put natural smile on the faces of blood receivers.

According to him, blood donation can help patients suffering from life-threatening health conditions live longer with higher quality of life.

He also said that blood donation had an essential life-saving role in maternal and child care, and during emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.

He added that blood donation could also enhance the production of new blood cells, adding that “When blood is withdrawn, the donor’s body immediately begins to replenish the lost blood within 24 hours of donation.

“All of the red blood cells the donor loses during donation are completely replaced within one month to two months.”

He explained that the best way to ensure safe blood supply was through regular donation by voluntary and unpaid blood donors. Donate blood for free and not for sale.

Also, Mrs Oluyemi Ehigie of the National Blood Transfusion Service, Abuja said that it was important to donate blood voluntarily to National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), saying blood in storage is often in short supply.

Ehigie said that only about four people out of 1000 in low-income countries donate blood, therefore calling for the need to meet the national supply.

Christopher Erhabo, an official of IHVN, stressed on the benefits of blood donation and assured that there was no pain in donating blood.

”I have been donating blood for three years now and I don’t regret it and I am glad my blood has been saving lives,” he said.

A physician, Dr Tongdiyen Jasper called on Nigerians to use this opportunity to donate blood as no one knew whose life the blood would save.

Jasper said that he had peace each time he donated blood, adding that blood was sacred and priceless.

”I will do this over and over because the purpose is to help someone who is dying,” she said.

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