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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Nigeria collaborates with a Dutch company to tackle issues in blood transfusion

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The National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has partnered with Netherlands-based HemoClear BV to tackle blood transfusion shortages.

The alliance, according to a statement sent to Newslodgeon Friday, is set to introduce “autologous, a patient-own blood transfusion service, to address issues of blood shortages leading to suffering and preventable death.”

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Due to the hurdles of using the existing autologous blood processing equipment for blood transfusions, the alliance aims to overcome such barriers by introducing HemoClear’s pioneering micro-filtration technology that facilitates the collection and processing of a patient’s blood during surgery.

Hemoclear explained that the technology will transform the blood into safe, transfusion-ready blood without the need for additional machinery or power sources.

According to Hemoclear, severe bleeding after childbirth is one of the major causes of maternal mortality worldwide and is a significant contributing factor in the deaths of some 200,000 women a year in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Benefits to Nigeria

The NBCS/HemoClear alliance is financially supported by the French Fund for Innovation in Development (FID), reinforcing the commitment to global health improvements.

This partnership was concretised by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during the inaugural Dutch trade mission to Nigeria.

The MOU was witnessed by the Dutch Vice Minister for Public Health, Marjolijn Sonnema; Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Wouter Plomp, and the National Coordinator of the Presidential Unlocking Healthcare Value-Chain Initiative, Abdu Mukhtar.

Representing the Minister of Health, Muhammad Pate, Mr Mukhtar said the partnership to initiate an autologous blood service, resonates with the vision of President Bola Tinubu to establish a coordinated blood ecosystem.

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“This partnership aligns with the National Health Plan and the Presidential initiative to unlock the health sector value chain and encourage private sector participation. We expect that this will help boost synergy for blood value chain optimisation and increase blood supply quality and efficiencies thereby reducing pains and saving Nigerian lives,” he noted.

ALSO READ: World Blood Donor Day: Poor funding, staff shortage worsen blood donation in Africa – WHO

“We expect that this will help boost synergy for blood value chain optimisation and increase blood supply quality and efficiency thereby reducing pains and saving Nigerian lives.”

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In his remarks, the Director General, NBSC, Saleh Yuguda, explained that incorporating autologous transfusions will significantly mitigate blood shortages in critical situations.

Mr Yuguda said it will enable the preservation of donated blood for treating conditions like sickle cell anaemia and cancer.

The CEO of HemoClear, Vincent Franssen, also expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, noting that partnering with the NBSC “guarantees streamlined implementation support, offers premier clinical training and logistics know-how, and sets the stage for future local production.”

“Both the NBSC and HemoClear underscore the importance of continued blood donations, as autologous transfusions are not universally applicable. Donated blood and its components will remain crucial in various cases where autologous blood is not a treatment option,” the statement reads in part.

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