You can hardly find a Nigerian that will walk into a hospital to say, “I want to donate blood”. Even you reading this article may not have done that.

Perhaps, you do not know the benefits of donating blood and you have not been in a position to donate blood for a family member who is ill.

But donating blood has great benefits:

1.       It has Anti-cancer benefit

Blood donation is associated with lowered risk of cancer. When you donate blood, the iron stores in the body are maintained at healthy level and a reduction in the level is linked with low cancer risk.

2.      Healthy heart and liver

Blood donation also helps reduce the risk of heart and liver ailments caused by iron overload in the body. When you have iron rich diet, there is a risk of increase in the level of iron in the body. Since limited proportions of this iron can be absorbed, excess of it gets stored in heart, liver and pancreas.

Blood donation helps maintain the iron levels in your body and reduces the risk of various health ailments.

3.      Weight loss

Those who want to lose weight can take this as an option B or A, as the case may be. Each time you find someone with low blood in a sick bed, the person looks emaciated and that will tell you what losing blood does.

When blood is donated regularly, the weight of the donor reduces.

Having excess weight increases the risk of cardiovascular (heart) diseases and other health disorders.

You, however, need to consult a doctor before donating blood to ensure that it will not result in health issues.

4.      New blood cells

Donating blood helps to replenish the blood loss, as it stimulates the production of new blood cells and in turn helps in maintaining good health.

5.  It helps to reduce the risk of Hemochromatosis

This is a health condition that arises due to excess absorption of iron by the body. Hemochromatosis may be inherited or caused by alcoholism, anaemia or other disorders.

Now that you know the benefits of donating blood, you can take advantage of the request by the Ministry of Health for Nigerians to donate blood and meet shortfall of blood demand yearly.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said on Wednesday that 1.8 million units of blood are needed per annum in Nigeria to save lives, but his worries are that Nigerians have not embraced the idea of donating blood.

He spoke at press conference organised to mark the 2017 World Blood Donor Day, with the slogan “What can you do? give blood. give now. give often”.

Isaac Adewole

Professor Adewole highlighted the role a single person could play in helping others during emergency situations by giving the valuable gift of blood.

Be part of this dream of 100% voluntary free blood donation and save lives. If we don't contribute our quota to saving the life of another Nigerian, who will?