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Blood shortage hits Greater Accra Regional Hospital

There is a shortage of blood at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

Pregnant women and accident victims have been the most affected with some of them reportedly losing their lives while waiting for relatives with compatible blood to donate.

Data indicates that about 44 per cent of maternal deaths were due to obstetric haemorrhage; a condition where women bleed before, during, or after childbirth.

This means five out of every 10 maternal deaths could be prevented if the blood banks had enough stock, but that is far from the reality.

Doctors at the facility are battling to save lives with understocked blood banks.

The Director of the hospital, Dr Emmanuel Srofenyoh, said an average of 20 pints of blood is issued from the hospital’s blood bank daily.

Donations have, however, dropped since Covid-19 and banks can no longer meet the demand.

“Blood mobilisation is one of the activities that were severely affected by Covid-19, because of the fear of visiting the hospital. Our voluntary donors shied away so last year our bloodstock was severely affected even into this year’s.

“Stephen Kofi Mensah’s wife who is on admission here is expected to deliver any moment.

“He is concerned he may lose her just as he lost two of his close friends.

“Recently one of my neighbours died because they were asked to donate blood, there was no family to do it. By the time they got people to donate the lady passed. The second one too out of a severe accident he also died.

“This time I decided to donate blood because of my wife who is in the labour ward because I don’t know what might occur. Her life is at stake and I’m supposed to support her,” said Peter Clement who had just finished donating blood to his relative on admission.

“My cousin’s daughter is on admission, doctors say they need blood urgently to save her life, so they reached out to me to come and donate.”

“In a desperate attempt to salvage the situation the Greater Accra regional health directorate is organising a monthly donor drive to get the general public to voluntarily donate to the blood bank.

“This month is themed, ‘Love a mother, save her life donate a pint of blood now.’ The target is to get at least 500 pints of blood to stock up the hospital’s blood bank.

“As we speak now the stock is not where we would all have expected for a large regional hospital. Each day the request that comes to the stock is a little over twenty.

“The maternity and children’s department consumes a lot of blood so we need your help to restock our bank. Donate to save a life now,” Dr Srofenyoh said.

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