Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity offered me to make a Statement on the World Blood Donor Day.
Mr Speaker, every year, Ghana is able to save the lives of thousands of patients with collected blood and blood products from paid people, volunteers and family members of patients.
World Blood Donor Day held on 14 June every year, played a major role in promoting the goal of self-sufficiency in blood supply based on voluntary, unpaid donors around the world. It is in this vein that the World Blood Donor Day is crucial to us as a country.
Mr Speaker, the focus of this year's World Blood Donor Day campaign is “Safe blood for saving mothers”.
The day raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors of their life-saving gifts of blood.
Every day, about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complica- tions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Database on Blood Safety (GDBS) for the year 2012 says almost all of these deaths occur in developing countries in which Ghana is not exempted. The risk of maternal mortality is highest for adolescent girls under 15 years of age.
Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability. However, access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products and the rational and safe use of blood transfusion still remain poor and a major challenge in many countries around the world.
Mr Speaker, blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. Providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of every country's national health care policy and infrastructure.
All countries need a regular supply of safe blood. In low-income countries, the biggest demand is for blood transfusion to treat severe anaemia in children under 5 years old, and to manage pregnancy- related complications. In high-income countries, transfusion is most commonly used for supportive care in cardiovascular and transplant surgery, massive trauma and cancer treatment.
Mr Speaker, WHO recommends that all activities related to blood collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution be co-ordinated at the national level through effective organization and integrated blood supply networks.
The national blood system should be governed by national blood policy and legislative framework to promote uniform implementation of standards and consistency in the quality and the safety of blood and blood products.
Mr Speaker, in 2012, 20 per cent countries had a national blood policy, compared with 60 per cent countries in
2004. Overall, 62 per cent of countries have specific legislation covering the safety and quality of blood transfusion according to the WHO Global Database on Blood Safety (GDBS) for the year 2012.
Mr Speaker, adequate and reliable supply of safe blood, can be assured by a stable base of regular, voluntary and unpaid blood donors. These donors are also the safest group of donors as the prevalence of blood borne infections is lowest among this group. The World Health Assembly Resolution (WHA63.12) urges all Member States to develop national blood systems based on voluntary unpaid donation and work towards the goal of self-sufficiency.
Mr Speaker, World Health Assembly Resolution (WHA63.12) urges Member States to establish, implement and support national-co-ordinated, efficiently- managed and sustainable blood and blood plasma programmes according to the availability of resources, with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency.
It is the responsibility of individual governments to ensure that sufficient and equitable supply of plasma-derived medicinal products, namely immuno- globulins and coagulation factors, which are needed to prevent and treat a variety of serious conditions that occur worldwide.
Mr Speaker, Ghanaians are encouraged to voluntarily donate blood to save lives. Mr Speaker, I want to use this opportunity to say kudos to churches, individuals and organisations that have made blood donation their regular exercise.
On this note, Mr Speaker, I would want to thank you once again for the wonderful opportunity given to me.