Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, MP for Effutu

The Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency has for called for criminal charges to be brought against the staff of the National Blood Service and authorities of Adjen Kotoku Senior High School following the death of a student.

Investigations, he said, should be conducted into how the student died after donating blood and to bring all persons found culpable to book.

Several other students who participated in the blood donation exercise were also reportedly hospitalized.

A distraught Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin expressed surprise that the National Blood Service will supervise blood donation without precautions and tests to ensure donors are free of virus infections.

The legislator who read a statement on the matter warned of the alarming phenomenon of organizations and individuals indiscriminately organizing blood donation exercises without adhering to laid down procedures.

He argued that the required age for blood donation in Ghana ranges from 17 to 60 years and that those below 17 are considered legal minors without the capacity to make such a decision.

According to him, the exercise at the Adjen Kotoku Senior High School in the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region failed to consider the age of the students and also did not seek parental consent, which resulted in the demise of the young schoolboy.

“Mr. Speaker, blood donors as part of the standard procedure are asked a set of standard questions prior to donating blood to assist in determining if they are in good health to undergo the process.

“If the donor’s answers indicate they are not well or are not eligible to donate, they are not allowed to donate blood.

“Also donors are made to take a short physical examination to make sure the donation is not hazardous to their health.

“It is therefore shocking that a donor in an attempt to save life ends up dying due to the negligence of health officials to adhere to standard procedures”, he added.

Mr Afenyo-Markin called for public education on the processes that one must go through to ensure if donors are fit to undergo blood donations.

He urged health officials and organizations to ensure the safety of voluntary donors at all times during blood donations.

The Ghana Blood Service indicates that Ghana needs at least two 260,000 units of blood every year to ensure that the blood bank is well stocked with 51% of this donation coming from volunteers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and many other international organizations have stated that voluntary non-remunerated blood donation is a founding and guiding principle.

They, therefore, recommend that all blood donations should be voluntary and non-remunerated and no coercion should be brought to bear upon a donor to donate.