More blood needed to save Ghanaian mothers & babies – MamaYe
It was an exciting, and yet, a very humbling occasion when over 400 people converged at the Efua Sutherland Park (Children’s Park) in Accra on Friday to voluntarily donate blood as part of the MamaYe Campaign to make available more blood for the Korle-Bu Blood Bank.
The donors who were mainly students from the O.I.C.I. and the West African Secondary School in Accra, contributed 101 pints of blood to the maiden Blood Drive of the MamaYe Campaign.
Even though the figure fell short of the target, it was laudable considering it was the very first of the series of programmes lined up to raise awareness on the need to raise blood to save Ghanaian mothers and newborns.
The Ghana Blood Centre at Korle-bu reports that the country needs about 250,000 pints of blood annually. However, supply of blood only amounts to 66% of what is needed. Of this, very little makes its way to remote and rural Ghana.
The occasion of the MamaYe Blood Drive, which also marked the International Women’s Day saw the Executive Director of the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR), Ms Vicky Okine, paying a glowing tribute to women around the world for their contribution to the socio-economic development of the country.
According to Ms Okine: “The MamaYe Advocacy Coalition and Evidence for Action, salute women in Ghana and recognise the work of countless numbers of health workers who courageously work under trying conditions to assist in deliveries and care of newborns.”
She said the MamaYe Campaign is going beyond the usual rhetoric, which characterises the International Women’s Day by demonstrating support for “saving lives of countless mothers and babies who waver between the threshold of live and death on account of loss of blood during childbirth through blood drives.”
Ms. Okine said it has become necessary to conscientise every individual about the fact that in Ghana haemorrhage or bleeding during or immediately after child birth is the leading cause of maternal mortality in Ghana.
“There are times when all it takes to save a mother or a baby is to replenish the blood that is lost; yet often times, blood is simply not available. We therefore want to heighten awareness about the fact that we can all contribute to saving lives by working with health facilities to stock up blood,” she intimated.
On his, part, Nii Ankonu Annorbah-Sarpeh, the Advocacy Associate of the MamaYe Campaign expressed his joy at seeing many second cycle school students stepping up to be counted at the Blood Drive.
He called on the media to encourage the public through their reportage to donate more blood that will eventually be used to save many more mothers and their babies.
Aside the boisterous performance exhibited by the students to keep the event lively, the young men and women donated blood amidst slogans such as “Today is Mama’s day” and “Save our mothers”.
Hiplife and GH-rap star, ASEM, who has produced a theme song for the MamaYe Campaign, joined the donors and churned out renditions of his repertoire including the very popular ‘Bye Bye’ track.
He encouraged the donors to keep faith with the campaign and continue to give to the Blood Bank for the good of society.
Nana Akua, a student of O.I.C.I., said she was delighted to have given blood to champion the course. She said “even though I don’t know who will receive my blood, I am sure God will bless me for doing such a good thing.”
She urged the older people in society to emulate what the young ones have done going forward.