Mar 8, 2013, 12:28 PM
FIG Bureau De Change Blood Donation, in collaboration with Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) Blood Bank unit, recently organised a blood donation session at the FIG Bureau De Change headquarters along Kairaba Avenue.
According to FIG officials, the programme aimed at helping the unit to meet their blood requirement need for patients at the country's main hospital.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Medical Director of RVTH, Dr Mamadi Cham, said: "We are gathered here today in an effort towards enhancing blood availability in RVTH the only tertiary hospital in The Gambia, and blood, as you may be aware, is important for life and without it life is impossible and thus blood transfusion is an essential component of health care delivery."
He also said every second someone in the world needs blood for surgery, trauma, and severe anaemia or for complication of pregnancy. He added that available evidence indicates that every year over 100 million people sustain injuries and more than 5 million die from violence and injury.
"Road traffic accidents are the second leading cause of deaths and the primary reason for serious injuries for people below 29 years and more than 536,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, most of them in developing countries," he said.
According to him, at the RVTH the demand for transfusion blood is high given the increasing number of reported road traffic accidents, maternity emergencies and increasing number of general surgery cases.
He said: "In 2009 alone, of the 4200 new admissions at the Accident and Emergency Unit, 738 (17,6%) were road traffic accidents and in the same year, 3453 surgical operations were performed of which 1421 (41%) were maternity cases, all needing transfusion blood and generally, 51% of all transfusion blood in RVTH is used by maternity cases alone and without readily availability of blood, a woman who bleeds after giving birth will die within two hours."
For his part, the Managing Director of FIG Bureau De Change, Louis Sarkis, said the sponsorship by FIG is in line with their social corporate responsibility in complementing government efforts in the sector.
"We believe that maintaining a high level of a health care system will enhance life expectancy rate of the citizenry and also more importantly enhance the productivity of the workforce in this country," he said.