A haematologist and the acting Head of Department, Haematology and Blood Transfusion, EKO University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr. Modupe Olaiya, yesterday called on the public to help provide adequate supply of safe blood for women, saying such will go a long a way in reducing maternal mortality.
Olaiya, a medical consultant, who made this call at the 2022 Olatunmbi Joanna Maduka Annual Lecture (OMAL) with the theme: ‘Reduction of maternal mortality through provision of adequate and safe blood’, organised by Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), expressed concern that the rapid access to safe blood transfusion for patients in need remains a challenge in this part of the world, adding that they are likely to die within few hours if they are not transfused.
She listed some of the causes of maternal mortality to include obstetric haemorrhage, hypertensive disorder, pregnancy-related sepsis, abortion, embolism, as well as complications of delivery.
According to Olaiya, “Haemorrhage remains the leading direct cause of maternal deaths globally. The statistics indicate that at least one quarter of maternal deaths can be prevented by rapid access to safe blood transfusion.”
The consultant, however, said women can help in the reduction of maternal mortality through sponsorship of community advocacy, donation of infrastructure, equipment and logistics, as well as sponsor training.
In his keynote, a Public Health Physician with the Lagos State Government, Dr. Mobolaji Sojinrin, recalled how he lost a patient due to blood loss as blood was not available at the hospital then.
He expressed concern that though some people are willing to donate blood, it must meet the criteria after a critical test.
He said: “The thing is that somebody has to provide blood for someone who needs it’s because it is important to save the lives of pregnant women when they deliver. We are still working on the willingness of the society to donate to others.”
In her remarks, the President of APWEN, Dr. Elizabeth Eterigho, said the annual lecture was named after the founding President, Mrs. Olatunbi Maduka, and also coincides with her birthday.
She commended her for breaking the glass ceiling to provide opportunities, especially for the girl-child.