For the fourth year running, the Kano hub of the Global Shapers community held a blood drive in commemoration of World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). Since its inception in 2004, World Blood Donor Day is celebrated worldwide on the 14th of June and is aimed at creating awareness on the need for voluntary unpaid donation as the safest, and most reliable way to get constant supply of blood for those in need, as well as to thank voluntary donors for their life-saving gift of blood. The theme for this year’s Day was “Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Give blood. Give now. Give often”.
The Kano hub’s Blood Drive 2017 took place on 29th July at the popular La Sultana hall on Ahmadu Bello Way. It was preceded by a massive online campaign which generated hundreds of retweets and instagram likes. The hub’s posts included FAQs on blood donation, information for potential donors on what to do before and after donation in order to ensure a hitch-free donation, as well benefits of blood donation to the donors.
The event was carried out in partnership with Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF), as well as the Blood banks of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital. It attracted a large number of potential donors from all walks of life who had a quick health check including blood pressure and blood level (haemoglobin level) before proceeding to donate. Donors also got free blood group and genotype testing and were issued a blood donor card by the respective hospitals at the end of the exercise.
Guests at the event were treated to delectable selection of snacks and drinks provided by some of the top food houses in Kano. There were some of the finest confectionery in town, including cupcakes and doghnuts, small chops, rice and chicken sauce, mini pizza, and a variety of drinks from Chef HalimaZ, Maama’s delight, Shakes and Mocktails, 3 Meals Culinary Kitchen, Timtims Small Chops, Saffron Catering and Events, 7:30 Restaurant, and My Sweet Addiction.
The annual blood drive is fast becoming one of the hub’s most popular recurring annual events, and has been growing since the first edition in 2014. A total of 72 pints of blood were collected this year, the largest number since the inception of the project. Since each pint of blood can be separated into as many as 4 components, this year’s exercise will hopefully save over 250 lives in dire need of blood and blood products. According to WHO, if 1% of a country’s population would donate voluntarily, it would meet that country’s most basic need for blood and blood products. The Kano hub’s annual blood drive is helping Kano and Nigeria achieve this target.