The Pelican Blood Donation Program has emerged as an influential force in shaping the local mentality about blood donation. Consequently an increasing number of persons is signing up to be donors not only in the Villages all over Bui Division, but also other part of the Country as people visit the Hospital for various reasons. The Blood Bank facility was initiated with the establishment of the Cardiac Center in 2009 given the bigger volume of blood required during open heart surgery.
The objective of the Program is to ensure the availability of adequate blood/blood components first of all, for surgical operations, but also for anaemic patients, considering that anaemia accounted for third cause of mortality in the Hospital in 2010.
The establishment of the Blood bank will also reduce the stress undergone by care-givers in the face of surgical operation of their loved ones as they were usually required to find a donor. This was particularly strenous for patients from distant towns and villages moreso in cases of emergency surgeries. The risks involved in Blood donation and transfusion can definitely be minimized.
ACTIVITIES OF THE PELICAN BLOOD DONATION PROGRAM
The Pelican Blood Bank carries out continuous sensitization tours within and outside of the Hospital in order to solicit free donation or recruit donors. In Bui Division our target groups have been Churches, village health committees and social groups. We make the population realize that donating their blood is a life-saving endeavour. We also advocate free donation in line with the UN directives and local culture that considers blood as life.
The Fon of Nso Tribe, for example, had to pass a decree prohibiting the sale of blood on his land, since the natives wanted to commercialize it. As the Hospital receives blood freely, so dooes it give!
Celebration of World Blood Donor Day in Shisong Hospital every June 14, has become a great sensitization avenue, which brings together donors, health personnel, the Church Authorities and Civil Administrators of Kumbo.
The general response is encouraging as individuals and groups from the villages around Bui are ready to donate regularly. Some of those villages include Melim, Kiyan, Kingomen, Ntseni, Tatum, Oku, Jakiri, Mbuluf, Nseh, Mbiame, Wainamah, Djottin, Ngondzen, etc. Groups have also opted to be regular donors; such as, the Christian Women Fellowship of Presbytarian Church, Tobin; Catholic Women’s Association, Mbveh; the Presybetarian Church in Kiyan, etc.
In the course of sensitization, health education becomes a necessary fallout. The population is educated on the rules of personal and environmental hygiene as well as diseases that can hamper blood donation. Considering the rise in HIV/AIDS infections, prevention, living with the condition, signs and symptoms are focal educational topics in our milieu.
Through educational talks the Program is shelving away misconstued notions about blood donation, a cultural breakthrough.
By screening for blood donation eligibility, the health of the people is enhanced as they become aware of their health conditions and learn to live healthily with it.
BLOOD COLLECTION, PROCESSING AND STORAGE
Blood collection takes place either in the Hospital or in various villages whereby it is processed and conserved in the bank for use.