Every year Nigeria loses an estimated 59,000 women to predictable and easily prevented deaths. Each week, Nigerian families lose 1,131 mothers, friends, sisters and daughters to pregnancy. The children these women leave behind are forced to grow up without mothers, and are more likely to die before their fifth birthday. The horror of maternal mortality affects the family, the community and our country.
Saving Nigerian mothers from preventable deaths requires action from the Government, her international partners and from citizens. Everybody counts and everyone can make a difference. The government is charged with fixing systemic issues that will allow public health centers and hospitals to function efficiently and deliver the best care. But what can a normal citizen do to help reduce maternal mortality in their community? How can you or I help save lives? It is all in your blood. There is one thing you can do to save 26,000 Nigerian women annually and this does not require that you give money or put yourself in danger. Imagine that you only have to do this thing only three times every year to get the result of 500 lives saved. Also this action will only take about an hour of your time every 3 months and we can collectively reduce mortality by 44%.
Availability of safe blood means life for countless pregnant women and young children in Nigeria. Ensuring that clean safe blood is available in each hospital can change things. Blood from 100% volunteer donors can save thousands but Nigerians hardly donate blood voluntarily. Recent reports show that 60% of all blood donations are from commercial donors, 30% from family replacement and only 10% are from voluntary donors. Those who do donate blood belong to a generation that is fast disappearing. Also, the little blood collected are not properly screened or distributed so many Nigerian lives are lost or severely handicapped because of this.
There are many reasons why Nigerians rarely donate blood voluntarily. Some say they are busy, they don’t know how or where to donate blood. Some people are simply scared to donate blood and so on. These are all valid reasons and the health system needs to find ways of making it easier for people to be heroes and help them save countless lives by becoming life long blood donors. This is precisely what the One Percent Project is committed to.
To solve all these issues and make it easier for young Nigerians to give blood, the One Percent Project, an organization headquarter in Lagos launched a blood donor database recently. The database aims to get 10,000 Nigerians to commit to blood donation to save lives by registering as blood donors. Choosing to give a unit of this precious gift saves the lives of those in dire need of blood. Nigeria needs just 1% to give blood regularly to ensure that in cases of emergency quality blood is always available for patients who need it. Thousands of people would die daily if there is no sufficient blood in blood banks around the country. If only one percent of Nigerians choose to donate blood, life will be saved. A pint of blood can equal three gifts of life to pregnant women, children with severe anemia, accident victims, victims of terrorism, cancer patients and patients in need of surgical care.
To sign up to join the 10,000 donor army today, click HERE.