The National Coordinator, National Blood Transfusion Service, NBTS, Dr Oluwatoyin Smith, has emphasised the importance of regular blood donation, saying it reduces the risk of heart attack and burns calories.
She told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that blood donation had many health benefits and encouraged citizens to cultivate the habit at regular intervals.
According to her, regular blood donation reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, improves heart health, agility, revitalises the body and improves general wellness.
Her words: “It improves heart health and reduces incidences of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
“Regular blood donors are very agile, they feel happy after donating, this is because the blood cells are renewed frequently, so, about 48 hours after donation, new blood cells are generated.
“So, if you donate regularly, you can imagine it as if you are being revitalised regularly.
“Donating regularly also allows you to burn calories. For those who want to lose weight, you must donate regularly and then the fulfillment that you are saving lives and living healthy becomes part of you and you feel fresh.”
The NBTS boss explained that before donating blood, health workers must carry out mini check on donors to ascertain their hemoglobin level, blood pressure, as well as get detailed medical history, as well as screen for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, among others.
She said that donors must be between 18 and 65 years, weigh about 50kg, hemoglobin level must be 12.5 g/L, adding that “men can donate four times annually, while women can do same three times in a year.”
She noted that while undergoing the medical checks before donating blood, one could be said to be actually monitoring his or her health status so as to know what to do and what to avoid for healthy living.
She added that while living in good health, donors would also feel satisfied that the blood donated would be used to save lives, especially accidents victims, women in post-delivery hemorrhage and other health challenges that might require blood transfusion.