By Dada Joseph
The issues relating to blood transfusion are so vast but it is disturbing that medical experts are not doing enough to get Nigerians informed of such delicate issues, with one being the fact that the dreaded HIV\AIDs virus could be transmitted by blood transfusion.
The truth is that much still needs to be done to enlighten Nigerians better on blood transfusion, as well as the challenges it is facing in the country.
That is why Paul Adepoju’s book, Crimson Dynamics is coming at an appropriate time, and it will join other works that had dwelt on the issue of blood transfusion, with the aim of presenting a clearer picture to humanity.
The 14-chapter book starts with the definition of blood, its composition, types, regulation of blood cells and volumes, before defining flood transfusion. The first chapter then delves into the history of blood transfusion, as well as the ideal blood transfusion system.
In the second chapter, the book highlights blood transfusion in Nigeria, while explaining that in times past, the National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA) detected that more than 80 per cent of blood units collected, processed and transfused in Nigerian hospitals were not properly screened, thus resulting in more than 15 per cent of HIV/AIDS infection rate at that time.
With that sorted out, hospitals and medical laboratories took extra precaution in screening donated blood, and those to be tranfused to patients. The result of this is a safer blood transfusion system in the country.
However, the system is not without its challenges, which the author lists in chapter three. One of such challenges is voluntary blood donation, which is very unpopular among Nigerians.
The author says, “The current situation is so pathetic such that ordinarily, Nigerians don’t even think of blood donation. One of the reasons responsible for this is the low level of awareness and publicity on why it is necessary, and advisable to donate.” (P21).
There are also other problems like donors’ involvement, recruitment and retention, while chapter four and five explains another challenge which arise as a result of government and private organizations’ involvement.
In chapter seven, the author discusses various religions’ view of blood. Here, the Islamic, Christian, Judaism, as well as the African traditional religion’s take on blood tranfusion are discussed.
It then specifically explains why Jehovah Witnesses refuse blood transfusion, even in a life-or-death situation.
After listing some of the hurdles facing blood transfusion, Adepoju then gives the solutions towards overcoming such challenges and that is, through awareness and encouraging peoples’ involvement. This can be found in chapter 10 and 11.
The medical scientist then returned to the refusal of Jehovah Witnesses to accept blood transfusion, by listing ways towards resolving the debacle.
In the final chapter, Adepoju highlights the Blood Drive Initiative (BDI), which has the aim of providing safe and sustainable blood supply through the recruitment and retaining of healthy, voluntary, non-remunerated donors (VNRDs) in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO’s) guidelines on blood donation.
The author, Adepoju, a medical scientist at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, writes from a professional point of view as it relates to blood transfusion in the country.
Crimson Dynamics is written in an easy to understand language, and this makes it possible for someone who does not even have a science background to comprehend the message the author is trying to pass across.
While it is important for experts in the medical field to get a copy of the book, it is also necessary for all categories of people to read Crimson Dynamics, so as to have a better understanding of how the blood transfusion system works.