The principal of College of Medicine Allied and Health Sciences (COMAHS), Professor Sahr Gevao yesterday heightened that, “blood transfusion in Sierra Leone is totally hopeless.”
During a presentation of a draft working document on the National Strategic Plan for Blood Safety at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) conference room at Youyi building, Brookfields in Freetown, he commended stakeholders for their efforts to ensure that “Sierra Leone has a proper Blood Transfusion Service (BTS)”.
The professor explained that if someone happened to be involved in a road accident, while traveling to the provinces, “he or she is definitely going to die because the blood situation in the country is terrible.”
He highlighted that in some of these centres with blood storing facilities, “there is no adequate power supply and proper refrigerators for blood storage”, adding that even where there were refrigerators, they were domestic ones.
Dr Modupeh Cole of Connaught Hospital stated that, “poverty is a major issue associated with blood transfusion”.
He disclosed that, “I lost a patient yesterday because she could not afford to buy a unit of blood.”
Dr Cole emphasized that this was not the first case but had seen patients died because they could not afford purchasing blood.
“We should have rules and regulations”, he suggested “…with regards to blood transfusion,” pointing out that, “what actually takes place in wards is different [from round table discussions],” he noted and asked: “if blood is in the bank and people can not afford it what is its use?”
“We have a government and it should provide for the disadvantaged,” he stressed.
Professor Gevao quickly debunked Dr Cole’s, noting that a lot of doctors prescribe without a clinical history of the patient.
The professor pointed out that, “there is a rule to come with two donors for those who cannot afford to purchase a unit of blood”.
The draft document on BTS limelight a situation analysis which highlights the organizational framework, human resources procurement, quality management, blood donation, testing, blood processing storage and distribution; and the clinical use of blood, which points out the current state of blood transfusion in Sierra Leone.