Koforidua Regional Hospital Blood Bank cries for help. It was exactly 4:35 pm on the 24th of March… The last sentence of the message read “come and save lives at this critical moment”.
The beginning of the message read, “calling all our cherished voluntary donors whose time is due”. Haven been a voluntary donor since my sixth-form days, and to the Koforidua Regional Hospital since 2010, this was not new to me.
I got ready and visited the hospital, in this corona era, going out was not the best option but I understood what it meant for lives to need blood.
Koforidua Regional Hospital Blood Bank cries for help
Upon finishing with the process, a staff approached me and the usual chats we used to have begun. This one was not pleasant, she poured out her heart to me on how the bank was empty and how lives were at stake. As a Health Journalist, the premise wasn’t new to me, but to satisfy my curiosity, the storage facilities were opened for me to observe.
Empty storage freezers were seen in the technical room at the blood bank. Lab technicians sitting almost idle hoping that blood donors would come, be tested before giving the green light for them to donate.
Regional Blood Donor Organiser, Madam Philomena Quayson, did not miss words, “the situation here is very critical”
Just when I was about leaving, I heard the Medical Director, Dr Cardinal Newton was engaging other journalists to carry the “story” of the shortage.
The information he gave them per recordings I listened to wasn’t any different from what I had heard at the bank, “due to the COVID-19, over 80 per cent of the blood donation sources of the Regional Hospital had been curtailed, thus rendering the blood bank almost a zero account.” He was lamenting how the ban on mass gatherings has “touched the skin” of the bank.
Back at the bank, relatives whose loved ones were hospitalized were in desperation seeking donors! Relatives of pregnant women who needed transfusion badly were seen in more desperation.
A stitch in time saves nine, it is said. In my quest to call friends, responses were very unpleasant as people want to stay home per the Hygienic Protocols of COVID-19.
Speaking to the Eastern Regional Medical Lab Scientists, Reverend George Mensah Damptey, he was of the opinion that, people should not fear to visit the bank in such a time to donate as their safety was assured. He further urged Ghanaians to do away with that fear of donating blood and come in their numbers to donate, since due diligence would be followed before allowing a person to donate his or her blood.