Sales of infected blood rampant in Ivory Coast--officials warn
Suy Kahofi/WADR Correspondent
Blood pouches not screened and believed to be contaminated are being circulated in the Ivory Coast by some unscrupulous individuals in the wake of the current blood shortage, sparking serious concerns by authorities of the National Blood Transfusion Center.
The Center has warned warn patients and their relatives against buying blood products outside the national blood banks.
Blood is a source of life but one can easily contract disease through blood transfusion, which can even lead to death, when the blood is given or kept without proper hygiene and medical attention.
Despite the existing risks of using contaminated blood, for several weeks some unscrupulous people have been trafficking blood in the Ivory Coast.
With the ongoing blood shortage in several places, some organizations have infiltrated the hospitals and are offering to patients and their families, very much at a loss, contraband blood pouches.
This blood, not screened and cleared by the National Blood Transfusion Center, is a real nest of virus and bacteria, or diseases like HIV/AIDS, syphilis or hepatitis.
Even worse, the infected blood can kill a patient due to its incompatibility when sold without knowing the receiver’s blood group.
Dr Konatè Seydou, director of the National Blood Transfusion Center of Ivory Coast calls on the Ivorian people to be more vigilant.
Only his institution has the right to take blood samples, treat them and deliver them to health centers.
The trafficking of blood in several regions of Ivory Coast is increasing, because of the current shortage of blood in the country.
According to Dr. Seydou, if only 1% of the 22 million Ivorian citizens accept to donate blood regularly, there will be no more blood shortage in the Ivory Coast.