Oluwatoyin Smith, the national coordinator of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), has urged Nigerians to donate blood regularly because it reduces the risk of heart attack and burns calories. There are other health benefits of blood donation as well.
She spoke on Thursday in an interview with NAN on the many health benefits of regular blood donation which Nigerians were ignoring.
Smith said regular blood donation reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, improves heart health, agility, revitalizes the body, among other benefits with respect to general wellness.
She, however, stated that donors must be between 18 and 65 years, weigh about 50kg, hemoglobin level must be 12.5 g/L.
According to the NBTS coordinator, men can donate four times annually while women can do the same three times in a year.
“It improves heart health and reduces incidences of cardiovascular disease and heart attack. Regular blood donors are very agile, they feel happy after donating, this is because the blood cells are renewed frequently, so, about 48 hours after donation, new blood cells are generated,” Smith said.
“So, if you donate regularly, you can imagine it as if you are being revitalized regularly. It also allows you to burn calories. So, for those who want to lose weight, you must donate regularly and then the fulfilment that you are saving lives and living healthy becomes part of you and you feel fresh.”
Although she reiterated the need to donate at regular intervals, the NBTS boss said health workers must make sure to carry out mini checks on the donors to ascertain their haemoglobin level, blood pressure, as well as their medical history for HIV, hepatitis B, and C, syphilis, among others.