The Lagos State Government’s Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) has closed a private hospital in Ago-Okota, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, for engaging in the unhealthy and unwholesome practice of collecting and transfusing unscreened and unlabeled blood to unsuspecting patients.
Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya, Executive Secretary of the LSBTS, revealed this on Sunday, saying that the health center was sealed by LSBTS and the State Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) after a concerned citizen tipped them off.
“A concerned citizen had reached out to us to report the unwholesome practices of the facility. Following the tip, and after thorough investigations, the enforcement teams of LSBTS and HEFAMAA, during their joint monitoring exercise in the area, visited the facility and confirmed to be true, the unwholesome, unprofessional, and unethical medical practices and conduct of the hospital management.”
Osikomaiya stated that the facility was closed for violating the blood transfusion service law, engaging in unethical and unprofessional medical practices, and endangering the lives of innocent civilians.
In her words, “This facility was sealed for contravening the provision of the Blood Transfusion Service law, specifically, law 10, item 31 which states that no person within Lagos State shall transfuse blood into a patient unless such blood has been screened, tested, labeled 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 may be deemed necessary by LSBTS.”
The Executive Secretary went on to say that the details of the blood donors and transfusion recipients had been obtained from the facility’s management and that citizens who had been transfused with unscreened units of blood at the facility are being traced as part of the protocol in order to determine and ensure their health safety.
She stated that the hospital’s administration and any employees proven to be responsible for the unwholesome act would be penalized in accordance with applicable legislation.
While noting that regulatory, monitoring, and enforcement activities are among the Blood Transfusion Service’s core mandates, Osikomaiya stated that the Agency has restructured its strategies for sanitizing the State against unethical blood transfusion practices and has continued to wage war against the unwholesome practice of transfusing unscreened blood in Lagos State.
She said: “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 actualized 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.
“In ensuring that only safe blood is transfused in the State, the LSBTS routinely monitors all private and public blood banks, blood donation centers, facilities that transfuse blood and blood products, screening centers, and blood logistics companies in the state to ensure compliance with the law.
“In addition, it ensures that all blood and blood products transfused in the state are screened by Lagos State accredited partners using WHO-certified methods and labeled with the State Blood Certification logo.
“Recall that Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, and the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye had all condemned the unwholesome practice of transfusing unscreened blood in Lagos State and tasked all health workers both in public and private health facilities as well as stakeholders in the blood transfusion chain on the need to comply and adhere to safe blood transfusion practices in order to ensure patient safety in blood transfusion procedures.”
While noting that there is zero tolerance in Lagos State for the collection and transfusion of unsafe blood and blood products, Osikomaiya urged residents to help in the fight against unwholesome blood transfusion services by reporting violations and unwholesome practices they witness. She also urged health workers and stakeholders in the blood transfusion chain, such as blood banks, donation centers, and logistics companies, to carefully follow WHO rules and Lagos State Blood Transfusion laws regarding blood donation, collection, and transfusion.
“This war against unwholesome blood transfusion practices involves and affects every citizen, and as a result, the LBTS will step up the tempo by continuous monitoring of all facilities concerned with blood transfusion, so that we can ensure safe and wholesome blood transfusion chain and guarantee the safety of all citizens residing in Lagos State,” she said.