BLOOD DONATION AT CHE: The Gesture that Saves Lives

On Friday the 18th of August 2023, the alumni association of Collège Saint-Michel in Douala organised their first-ever blood donation drive in Yaounde. 

Around 50 young volunteers were brought together by the association to enrich the blood banks of the Essos Hospital Centre in Yaounde, with the aim of achieving one of the objectives of their action plan and, above all, saving lives. Among the donors who made the trip on Friday 18th August was 22-year-old Françoise Ngo-Nguindjel, who explained why she was there “I am here today to help those who need blood transfusions to contribute in one way or another to their recovery. Who knows, maybe one day I will find myself in the same situation and a kind-hearted soul will come to my aid”.

 According to Francis Abaze, Major of the Blood Transfusion Unit at the CHE, “Anyone can give blood, provided they are over 18 and meet certain health criteria. The pre-donation interview also enables us to verify that there are no contraindications and that the donor has respected a minimum period between 2 donations”. To do this, the donor must first carry out a self-selection, then be in a condition to give blood and finally answer the confidential questionnaire before the medical selection, which consists of verifying the donor's weight, blood pressure, and the amount of blood in the body. After collection, a series of tests are carried out to determine whether the blood bag is safe and usable. The time taken to resume sporting activity is estimated at 48 hours, and the results are withdrawn after 5 days.

“The aim of today's raid was to help save lives, especially as during the celebration of World Blood Donor Day in June, the Ministry of Health stressed that giving blood is an act of solidarity and generosity, and saves lives. We said to ourselves why not mobilise some young people to fulfil this purpose. Today we can see that we were right to do so. We're ready to do it again and do it better. Thanks to the NSIF Hospital, we've learned how to do it better. What's more, some people think that donating blood is for sale, but that's not the case. It's a voluntary activity” declared Emmanuel Philémon Akoa, president of the association

The Director General of the NSIF, Noël Alain Olivier Mekulu Mvondo Akame, accompanied by his delegation, took the opportunity to reiterate his encouragement to these voluntary donors, with suggestions for better organisation of donations “Blood donation is a social and health activity, and I think that having a directory of donors is important for better preparation and why not even create a forum for volunteer donors” he added.

An afternoon of sharing and generosity organised at the NSIF hospital, thanks to the goodwill of former students of Collège Saint-Michel. Donating blood is an act of great generosity that not only saves lives but also increases the lifespan of many people. A single blood donation can save up to four lives.