The Lagos State Government, operating through the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS), has taken decisive action against a private hospital situated in Ago-Okota, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area of the state.
The hospital was sealed due to its involvement in hazardous and improper practices related to the collection and transfusion of unscreened and unlabelled blood to unsuspecting patients.
Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya, the Executive Secretary of LSBTS, revealed this development over the weekend. She explained that the health facility was sealed off by both LSBTS and the State Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) after receiving information from a concerned citizen.
Osikomaiya stated, “A concerned citizen had reported to us about the unacceptable practices at the facility. Following this report, and after conducting thorough investigations, enforcement teams from LSBTS and HEFAMAA jointly conducted a monitoring exercise at the facility. They confirmed the existence of unprofessional and unethical medical practices and management within the hospital.”
The closure of the facility was due to its violation of the Blood Transfusion Service law, which includes unethical and unprofessional medical conduct and jeopardizing the well-being of unsuspecting individuals. Dr. Osikomaiya further clarified, “This facility was sealed off for contravening the provision of the Blood Transfusion Service law, specifically, law 10, item 31, which mandates that no person within Lagos State should transfuse blood into a patient unless such blood has been screened, tested, labelled by the state blood transfusion committee, and found to be negative for all transmissible diseases including HIV I and II, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, and any other disease as deemed necessary by LSBTS.”
The Executive Secretary also explained that the information regarding blood donors and transfusion recipients has been collected from the facility’s management. Efforts are underway to trace those who have received unscreened blood units at the facility to assess their clinical health status and ensure their safety.
She noted that the hospital management and staff involved in these unwholesome practices would face prosecution according to applicable laws.
Emphasizing that regulatory, monitoring, and enforcement are fundamental aspects of the Blood Transfusion Service’s responsibilities, Dr. Osikomaiya indicated that the agency has adjusted its strategies to combat unethical blood transfusion practices in Lagos State.
She added, “The Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service was established with a mandate to provide safe blood and blood products for all who require it in accredited health facilities. This mandate is realized through the active recruitment of voluntary blood donors, screening of every unit of blood for transfusion-transmissible infection, efficient processing of blood, and appropriate clinical use of blood.”
Dr. Osikomaiya highlighted the importance of monitoring all blood banks, blood donation centres, facilities for blood transfusion, screening centres, and blood logistics companies in the state to ensure compliance with the law. She stressed that all blood and blood products used in the state should be screened by Lagos State accredited partners using WHO-certified methods and labelled with the State Blood Certification logo.
She also reiterated the commitment of the Lagos State Government, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, and the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, in condemning unsafe blood transfusion practices. They have called on health workers, both in public and private health facilities, and stakeholders in the blood transfusion process to adhere to safe blood transfusion practices.
Dr. Osikomaiya urged citizens to support the efforts against unsafe blood transfusion by reporting any infractions and unsafe practices. She also implored health workers and stakeholders involved in the blood transfusion chain to strictly adhere to WHO regulations and Lagos State Blood Transfusion laws regarding blood donation, collection, and transfusion.
In conclusion, she emphasized the commitment to maintaining a zero tolerance policy towards the collection and transfusion of unsafe blood and blood products in Lagos State. LSBTS is determined to ensure a safe and ethical blood transfusion process that guarantees the well-being of all citizens living in Lagos State.
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