Today, June 14, is World Blood Donor Day. In Nigeria, the situation is very critical.
There is no blood in hospitals.
No donors in the few collection centers.
Blood is even trafficked.
Lagos state police dismantled this week a clandestine blood collection laboratory. In the Bariga neighborhood of Lagos, a 45-year-old father was bleeding miners for money.
He had been working at his house for five years. The laboratory was discovered after the hospitalization of a 17-year-old who had taken two liters of blood six days apart.
The trafficker was arrested and seven liters of blood were found in his clandestine clinic.
According to the police, he stated that he had received training as a laboratory assistant.
The investigation is underway and the police are trying to determine who they resold the blood.
According to the Nigerian daily ‘ThisDay’, which spoke with the trafficker, he paid 2,000 naira per liter of blood, or about 4 euros, and sold it more than three and a half times more expensive to a hospital in Lagos.
It is a sordid affair, symptomatic of a lack of blood in the country.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, Nigeria annually collects barely 1/3 of its blood needs. Only 10% of this blood comes from free voluntary donations.
Health authorities regularly sound the alarm, but reluctance to donate blood remains very strong.
Result: the blood is sometimes very expensive, if the Rh is rare. This also favors all kinds of traffic.
WHO estimates that a minimum of ten blood donations per 1,000 population is required to ensure adequate general availability of blood for transfusion in a country.
Nigeria is far away and getting blood for a transfusion is almost always in a hurry. And 60% of its donations are of commercial origin, 30% are intra-family donations.