The management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has lauded members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for donating blood to save the lives of those who may have severe medical emergency cases in the hospital.
Recall that about 50 members of the Calabar Nigeria Stake of the Church had converged at the hematology department of the hospital on Wednesday to freely donate blood.
The Church members described the exercise as an opportunity to light the world through giving as exemplified by Jesus Christ himself.
Speaking, consultant hematologist/head of the donor clinic of the hospital, Dr Bassey O. Bassey, described the blood donation exercise as answers to prayer, explaining that the hospital had prayed for voluntarily blood donation from members of the public and organisations.
“I commend the Church for voluntarily embarking on this exercise as part of their programme which they tag ‘Giving Wednesday.’ Blood donated in such ways is reserved for emergency purposes to save lives,” he stated.
On how to ensure the blood so donated are free from viruses, the consultant said “Every potential donor is screened to know his hemoglobin level and if it passes the benchmarks and other physical assessment, we then get the blood from the donor into the blood bank. I call on other Churches, groups and organisations to borrow a leaf from what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has done today,” he stated.
On the allegation that blood freely donated were being sold out to patient on exorbitant rate, Dr Bassey said the allegation was wrong, adding “we don’t sell blood. if the patient needs blood, he pays only for what we call service charge.
“Before blood is certified free for infusion, apart from screening, we what we call blood grouping, blood cross matching to ascertain its compatibility. The patient only pays N5000 for the services and that amount has been there for the past twenty years.”
In his remarks, the Calabar Nigeria Stake President, Alex Nkoro, disclosed that fifty members of the Church were ready and willing to donate blood and that the number would have been higher of the hospital rules allowed it.
He said “the blood our members are donating is to support those who may not be able to afford blood in emergency cases. The exercise is also our little way of lighting the world this December through our character and deeds.
“We are following the footsteps of our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ who freely gave his life for all of us so that we could have the privilege of having fellowship with him. As Christians, we all should emulate and follow the example of our Lord who was selfless.”
Also speaking, a donor, Eke Nnenna, said she was excited at the opportunity to donate her blood to save a life, while another donor, Okon Obaseoyi, said he was ready to donate his blood again and again for someone to be restored in health and therefore called on Nigerian not to be afraid of donating blood for others to live.