Koforidua, Nov 15, GNA - Seven voluntary blood donors were on Monday awarded prizes to mark the Sixth National Blood Donors Day in the Eastern Region at Koforidua.
The first prize of a ghetto blaster was won by Mr John Agleke, a teacher of the Abuakwa State College (ABUSCO), for donating 12 times and the second prize, also a ghetto blaster, was won by Pastor Raphael Kumatsa for donating 10 times.
The third prize of a standing fan was won by Mr Seth Danso, a teacher of ABUSCO who had donated nine times while the only woman among the award winners, Ms Mary Afum, a cook, won the fifth position and was presented with a wall clock for donating blood five times. Dr Emmanuel Kojo Tinkorang, the Deputy Eastern Regional Director of Health, said with the increase in transfusing transmissible infections like HIV, Hepatitis B&C, there was the need for a large panel of voluntary blood donors who could be screened periodically and contacted in times of crisis.
He expressed regret that since the institution of awards for blood donors, many of the award winners had regarded the awards as a retirement package and have stopped donating. Dr Obeng Apori, the Director of the Eastern Regional Hospital, said from January to date the Eastern Regional Blood Transfusion Centre had issued 2,140 units of blood to the Regional Hospital. He said only 30 per cent of blood requirement of the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre came from voluntary donors with students from second and third cycle institutions in the region donating 1,488 units this year.
Dr Apori appealed to the public and churches in the region to actively get involved in the blood donation exercise. Nana Agyei Tuffour, the Krontihene of New Juaben Traditional Area who chaired the function, called on the people to change their negative attitude towards blood donation and donate more blood to the blood bank.