Members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Maryland, Lagos, recently, defied
heavy downpour to honour the World Blood Donation Day for the year 2015.
The World Blood Donation Day is held annually every June 14 in honour of Karl Landsteiner, who had discovered the A, B and O blood groups. The day is also to sensitise people on the importance of blood donation.
Speaking at the event, President of the Lagos Mainland Conference, Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Nigeria, Pastor E. O. Adeniyi, appreciated those who turned up for the event. In his word, “the programme has become an annual event that affords Seventh-Day Adventist Church the opportunity to help and show act of kindness to their neighbours, friends and workmates, by rendering selfless service to humanity.”
Adeniyi added that, “This act is to mirror what our Master Jesus did when he was here over 2,000 years ago as recorded in Luke 4:18. I thank God for this programme and for the unprecedented collaboration that exists amongst youth, health and communication departments of the church in packaging this programme.”
Adeniyi, who was among the first to donate blood at the event, said, “I want to state that Lagos Mainland Conference is a pacesetter, so we pray that others will be able to emulate the good work.”
Advising other clerics in the country on the importance of blood donation, Adeniyi said, “I call other denominations to do likewise and emulate what we have done here today. The church is a charity organisation; we exist to bless others because Christ, who is the founder of the church went about doing good, that is why we are doing this act of kindness. I feel good donating today, this is my third consecutive time, I am used to it I see it as a way of bringing blessing to the less privileged.”
Another donor at the event, Joy Anusenni, said she feels good donating blood to save a life somewhere. According to the first time donor, “I’m just alright with it, I will continue to donate, it is an opportunity to save a life. I will always advise others to do it because you never know who would be saved with your blood, it is my first time and it’s really good.”
Likewise, Obinna Akunne, a member of the church, who was the very first person to donate at the centre. “It is a good thing, I play football and people wonder where I see the strength. They do not know donating blood regularly has a way of giving strength; I have been very healthy ever since I started to donate blood.
In his own comment, a pastor in the church, Pastor Femi Okorie, who is also the church’s youth director, said “donating blood is an exercise of love to humanity and every healthy Christian should endeavour to participate in the exercise. The Federal Ministry of Health should promote blood donation, there should be public awareness because whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.”
When asked whether the church operates its own blood bank, Okorie said, “we do have our own bank and we also give to other banks. Not everyone can afford private hospitals; people can go to the Babcock University in Ogun State or any other private hospitals. We have been pleading with private hospitals that they should to sell blood at un-affordable fees, if they have to sell; they have to sell at affordable rates. Government hospitals come here during blood donation days and give malt to donors so they can regain their strength, they can add minimal charges since they have to spend to make the blood ready for use, but such charges should be affordable.”
Educating participants before the exercise, Dr. Dare Alori Samuel, standing in for the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, said blood donation is an important exercise and people who are healthy should endeavour to always participate.
According to Alori, who works at the Island General Hospital, “a healthy individual can donate blood more than once in a year because if the blood is not donated, it has its way of leaving the body once it is no more needed.”
He, however, enjoined the youth population to cultivate the habit of free blood donation which would even make them healthy.
Story and picture by Dayo Emmanuel