FG warns against use of rapid test kits to screen blood for transfusion

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The federal government has warned against using rapid test kits to screen blood meant for transfusion.

Ali Pate, minister of health and social welfare, gave the warning on Friday at a media conference to commemorate the National Blood Donation day campaign in Abuja.

Pate, represented by Amuno Ogbonna, director, tertiary hospital division of the ministry, said this was in line with the resolutions made during the 55th national council on health to ensure unhindered access to safe blood and blood products.

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“I wish to remind all blood safety stakeholders that the use of Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique remains the minimum standard for screening of blood meant for transfusion purposes in Nigeria,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“I further wish to reiterate that the continuous use of Rapid test-kits to screen blood meant for blood transfusion in Nigeria is unacceptable and urge all stakeholders to ensure that they fully comply with this government’s decision.”

He added that the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) had commenced the registration of all hospital blood banks and blood establishments (BES) nationwide for effective regulation of their activities.

Speaking earlier, Eneye Suberu, acting director-general of NBSC said the campaign was to ensure year-round blood donation, to maintain adequate supplies and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusion.

“This campaign is to bring voluntary blood donation to the consciousness of the citizens through sensitisation and public enlightenment activities, and varied forms of media engagement,” he said.

“Highlight the need for committed, year-round blood donation, to maintain adequate supplies and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusion.”