Saving lives, Bernard Tekpetey Foundation hosts successful blood donation drive to support Ghana’s blood bank

On Saturday, July 15th, 2024, the University of Ghana’s Athletics Oval played host to a remarkable event as the Bernard Tekpetey Foundation, founded by Ghana’s international footballer, Bernard Tekpetey, organized a blood donation drive that saw an impressive turnout of 133 donors, all united in their quest to give back to the community and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Tekpetey says he decided to do this because there is a shortage of blood in our blood banks, so he thought it wise to do something to help. He discussed it with the CEO of the National Blood Service, and they came to an agreement to support the people in need.

“We face numerous challenges when it comes to blood. Previously, we had a significant issue. I realized there was a shortage of blood, which led to the loss of a life. This prompted me to discuss the matter with the CEO of the National Blood Service, and we agreed to organize an event like this to support people, save lives, and make a meaningful impact on human lives”.

He further encouraged everyone to try and donate blood, because what we do will go a long way in saving lives.

“You might not know who you are saving – it could be your mother, father, sister, or brother. You have no idea, but when you come on board and donate your blood to support someone, the reward will definitely be great. God will bless you. We are just human, and we are here to pave the way. I will also donate blood”.

KV Oostende star, David Atanga, also came around to support his longtime friend, Bernard Tekpetey, on that day because they had previously discussed it.

“Bernard Tekpetey had already told me about the program, although I had other commitments, but he’s a brother and it’s a community service for the people of Ghana. So, no matter how busy you are, you can still give back to the community – it doesn’t have to be financial; even your blood can play a role in saving lives. He invited me, and I decided to put everything aside and make it a priority.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Blood Service, Dr. Shirley Phyllis Owusu-Ofori, came to ensure that everything was in order, ensuring a safe blood donation exercise.

Dr. Shirley Phyllis Owusu-Ofori explained why the National Blood Service decided to partner with the Bernard Tekpetey Foundation.

“The National Blood Service has a strategic direction to strengthen and intensify collaborations and partnerships. So, when we were approached by the Bernard Tekpetey Foundation, we were thrilled, as it aligned with our goals and was a step in the right direction”.

“What we do every day, in line with our mandate, is to collect safe blood units, process them, and make them available for patients in both public and private facilities. This requires us to engage with various groups and organizations, such as corporate groups, churches, health facilities, and educational institutions. So, when the Bernard Tekpetey Foundation approached us, it was awesome, as it provided us with an opportunity to reach out to the community, educate people, dispel myths, and advocate for our cause. We seized this brilliant opportunity and made the most of it”.

She also encourages the public to make blood donation a habit, to help save lives.

“I’d like to say that no one is too old to give blood. We accept donors between the ages of 17 and 60 years. All you need is to be healthy and willing. Simply walk into a regional or teaching hospital, or visit one of our centers in Accra, Kumasi, or Tamale, and express your interest in donating blood. Once you commit and go through the process, you’ll be able to donate multiple times – up to three times a year, in fact”.

“Another thing I want to encourage is that those who have never given blood, whom I call prospective donors, should know that the donation process is safe, and the health of donors is of paramount importance to the blood service”.

“We prioritize the health of our donors and take all necessary measures to ensure a safe donation process. Contrary to a common myth, no one has ever died from giving blood. We dispel this misconception and assure the public that we take every precaution to safeguard the recipient’s health and the donor’s well-being, ensuring a harm-free process for both parties”.

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