“Blood donation protects”, says Professor Wilfred Ndifon
Professor Wilfred Ndifon of the College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, has stated that blood donation improves the looks and general well-being of donors as well as protects them from stroke, cancer, heart attack and several other ailments. He said that blood donation equally enables donors to save the lives of needy patients.
Professor Ndifon listed those benefits of blood donation yesterday, during a blood donation exercise organized for needy patients by members of Calabar Municipal Local Government Area’s chapter of National Association of Seadogs (NAS), through the Calabar Center of National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS).
Professor Ndifon is also the Coordinator of the Center in Calabar. He disclosed that he has neither had malaria nor headache for two years because he donates blood regularly. He said: “I am the highest blood donor in Cross River State. I have donated blood nineteen times…. I donate blood four times a year. In 2016 I donated blood five times. My workers are here. They can confirm. They said I donated too much and that I should stop. They said it would affect my health. But I told them that it is my blood.
“I have not had malaria for two years. No headache. I don’t even take panadol. I was asking my wife ‘what’s happening? I’m so healthy!’ I said ‘okay, it’s because I have been donating blood’. It’s as if I am in the United States of America or United Kingdom.”
He used an example of how pipes convey water to explain how arteries convey oxygen and how this affects blood flow in the human body. He said : “You see the water pipes. They are now using PVC. What they call Polyvinyl Chloride. Previously, they were using iron pipes. They stopped using iron pipes because of corrosion. The oxygen interacts with the iron and forms sodium oxide and that’s what causes rust. With time, the iron pipes rust and burst.
“The same thing happens with the blood vessels that carry oxygen. Arteries carry oxygen …. So what happens to the iron pipes also happens to arteries. The way iron pipe rusts is the way your arteries rust. The same way the iron pipes burst is the same way your arteries burst. If the arteries burst in your brain, you have stroke. If they burst in your heart, you have heart attack. If they burst in your kidney, you have kidney failure”.
According to him, blood donation prevents the arteries from getting fragile and gives blood donors thirty percent protection from the aforementioned conditions.
He added that in Africa, men are advised to donate blood at least four times a year while women are advised to donate thrice a year, since nursing mothers lose blood during delivery of babies. Professor Ndifon also said that blood donors regain lost blood within two months.
He decried what he termed as a very low level of awareness of the benefits of blood donation among the populace in Nigeria but commended the National Association of Seadogs for being consistent in organizing blood donation exercises for needy patients. The Professor of Medicine enjoined members of the public to equally cultivate the habit of regular blood donation and advised them never to do so for quack purposes through equally quack outlets.
More than thirty pints of blood were donated by members of Calabar Municipal LGA’s chapter of NAS and wives of some members during yesterday’s exercise. The President of that chapter of the Association, Mr. A. M. Peter, said that: “The blood is expected to cater for the increasing demands of patients in need of blood in public hospitals”.
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