The Laboratory Blood Safety Programme Manager, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Mr. Abdullahi Abubakar, has said that blood donation lowers the risk of cancer.
Abubakar disclosed this while speaking at a blood donation drive in Abuja on Thursday in commemoration of the World Blood Donor Day.
According to him, the risk level of cancer drops in correlation with how often people donate blood.
Quoting the Miller Keystone Blood Centre, Abubakar said consistent blood donation could help in lowering the risk of cancers of the liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat.
He also said that blood donation could improve the overall cardiovascular health.
“Donating blood regularly helps the males in particular to reduce the amount of iron in their blood, which reduces the chances of a heart attack by 88 per cent.
“The high level of iron in the blood raises the chance of heart disease, but regular donation can reduce the risk of severe cardiovascular veins, such as stroke, by 33 per cent,” he said.
Abubakar further said that regular blood donation could improve fitness, explaining that donating one pint of blood (450 ml) takes out 650 calories from the donor’s body.
“Blood donation also enhances the production of new blood cells.
“When blood is withdrawn, the donor’s body immediately begins to replenish the lost blood within 24 hours of donation.
“All the red blood cells the donor loses during donation are completely replaced within one month or two,” he said.
Regular blood donation, the expert added, could also afford the donor an opportunity to a free health screening and to saving lives.
“By donating blood, many lives are saved and hope is given to many whose situation might otherwise be hopeless.
“It also brings joy to many; you impact not only the patient whose life may depend on your donation, but also all those who depend on that patient,” he said.