The Director-General of the Nigeria Blood Services Commission, Dr Omale Joseph, has alleged that many Nigerian hospitals are giving expired blood to their patients.
He also said that many are selling blood donated to them by individuals to keep in the blood bank for use when necessary.
Omale made the disclosure, Thursday evening, while briefing journalists in the House of Representatives on the heels of the establishment of the new Commission aided by a Bill sponsored by Hon Abbas Tajudeen (APC, Kaduna) recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Responding to questions on the need to inject sanity into the process of blood handling, utilisation and administration in Nigeria, the DG said that many officials in hospitals were cutting corners in the blood administration.
According to him, safe blood has a lifespan of 35 days after which it becomes unsafe to use.
He also stated that some individuals now commercialise blood, donating it for fees ranging between N20,000 and above.
He however said that the new Commission was out to stop the inhuman practices.
Omale also said that blood banks and centres will be established in the 36 states and local governments in the country to save lives in the hinterlands.
He said: “A unit of blood it is taken out expires between 30 and 35 days. If you don’t transfuse this blood within that period and it gets to 35 days, it has to be thrown away. But people still keep them in their fridge and transfuse them.
“These are some of the things we are going to regulate. We are already regulating. We are also working to a point that blood will be everywhere in Nigeria. And one of the things we are doing is to initiate what we call the one million safe blood initiatives.
“Based on the act we have now, we are trying to ensure, working on our people to make sure that at each point in time, Nigeria has a minimum of safe blood place.