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Friday, September 17, 2021

Stakeholders call for stricter regulation of blood products

Stakeholders in the health sector on Thursday urged Federal Government to establish a commission that would enhance regulation of blood products.

The information is in a statement by Abdullahi Haruna, Head, media and Communication, National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS).

Haruna stated that the stakeholders made the proposal when they joined the Minister of Health, Dr Osaghie Enahire at a public hearing on the proposed Blood Commission Bill on Thursday in Abuja.

He noted that stakeholders like the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Safe Blood for African foundation, National Society of Haematology, Blood Donors Association were all involved in the advocacy.

“They advocated for a commission that will coordinate, regulate and ensure the provision of quality blood and blood products in Nigeria.

“The bill is titled ‘bill for an Act to Establish the National Blood Service Commission to Coordinate, Regulate and Ensure the Provision of Quality Blood and Blood Products; and Related Matters,’ sponsored by Hon Tajudeen Abbas.”

He added that the bill would culminate in the establishment of a commission that would control and safeguard all aspects of blood transfusion.

“If passed into law, it will safeguard the blood transfusion value chain across health facilities from collection to storage, screening and transportation, in adherence to established global and national guidelines.

“It will ensure clear legal framework that ensures the protection of lives, health and wellbeing of Nigerians.

“It will also ensure that adequate supply of screened blood and blood products are available in national and regional blood banks at all times.”

The proposed bill, when passed, would establish a Commission that would effectively coordinate blood transfusion practices on a countrywide basis within the National Health Plan and act as the sole regulatory and accrediting authority for all blood services nationwide.

It would enable the creation of a national blood reserve that could be activated when there is a national disaster.

Haruna said that the commission, when established, would also generate appreciable revenue for government.

He explained that “according to the proposal, the Blood Service Commission will be able to generate significant financial returns for government through the production and sale of suitable range of therapeutic blood products, plasma and plasma-derivative medicinal products locally, regionally and internationally.

“It will create jobs and yield additional income,” he said. (NAN)

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