Ghanaian Catholics Donate Blood Amid Looming Shortage

Participants in a Health Walk And Blood Donation Exercise Organized by the Catholic Archdiocese Of Accra.

With alarming statistics indicating that one out of three Ghanaians will need blood to save their lives, a campaign that targeted Catholics in the West African nation to donate the “gift of life” was started in 2019, with six out of the 20 dioceses involved in the voluntary exercise, a Coordinator of the campaign told ACI Africa correspondent in an interview Tuesday, February 4.

“This ‘Gift of Life’ (blood) was Catholics’ gift to the nation,” National Catholic Blood Donation Campaign Coordinator, Maame Stephens said and added, “God has done a lot for us throughout 2019 so what better way to show our appreciation than with this Gift of Life.” 

“Ghana is in dire need of blood and as a country, we have never met our blood requirement which is just 1 percent - 300,000 people - of the Ghanaian population,” she said.

She added, “Sometimes surgeries have had to be postponed due to lack of blood.” 

There is need to have more blood donors as the need for safe blood remains critical in the West African country, the National Blood Service in Ghana has confirmed.


Underlining this need, Maameh revealed, “In 2018, only 60,000 units of blood was received from voluntary unpaid donors out of a needed 300,000 units.”

“Geographic and financial access to adequate and safe blood and blood products remained critical for many individuals and communities,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Blood Service Ghana, Dr Justina K Ansah, was quoted saying by World Health Organization  in 2019.

“Blood transfusion was an indispensable intervention in health care delivery that contributed to saving thousands of lives each year in routine and emergency cases,” Dr. Ansah was quoted saying. 

According to her, “With a Ghanaian Catholic population of almost three million, 30,000 donors (1 percent of the Catholic population) sounds realistic. This will represent 10 percent of NBSG’s annual target of 300,000 units per year, contributing tremendously to stocking our blood banks.”

The six dioceses that participated in the Campaign last year were Accra, Techiman, Navrongo-Bolgatanga, Sunyani, Cape Coast and Tamale with Accra and Techiman contributing more than 80 percent of the nationwide total. 

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This campaign was championed by the National Catholic Blood Donation Campaign Team under the theme, “Family of God: Give Blood So Others May Live.”

“We are re-launching the campaign this year (2020) with 10,000 units of Blood as our target. We are continuing with the same theme and slogan for 2020: Be There for Someone: Give Blood,” Maameh told ACI Africa correspondent, adding that “the Sub Committee decided to maintain 2019’s Campaign theme, slogan and tagline for 2020 since the initiative is just picking up.”

Explaining the campaign objective, Maameh said it is aimed to help stock blood banks across the 16 regions in Ghana as a Catholic commitment to society, make blood donation a lifestyle for Catholics as part of their social duty and service to humanity and give the Catholic circles publicity through the campaign.

“With the blessings of the Bishops, the 2020 National Campaign will be launched soon and replicated at the provincial levels to conscientize Catholics on the need to support the National Blood Service,” Maameh said.

According to the Brand Ambassador, Catholic churches all over Ghana were already embarking on blood donation exercises. She however noted that the impact could be better felt and recognized if efforts are coordinated. 


The campaign, expected to run between January and November, 2020, will be held across the 16 regions of Ghana.

Each Church, she added, will be encouraged to hold at least one, ideally two blood donation exercises within the year.

“The idea is to encourage Catholics to donate blood as a gift of a lifetime because every day, children and mothers in childbirth die as a result of acute blood loss. Cancer patients, accident victims, and other patients, need blood transfusion to survive,” Maame noted.

“Much as we are tracking the number of units, we should also be interested in participation from as many churches as possible. The higher the participation rate, the more likely we are to sustain our blood banks in the future,” she said.

She, however, called on Catholic Churches and institutions in Ghana to get involved and participate in the exercise this year to help save lives as “our impact will go beyond the patient touching their family, loved ones and society.”

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“I really need the continuous support of the Bishops, Priests, Religious and the lay faithful to champion this blood donation campaign in our Catholic Churches,” Maameh reiterated.

She expressed the hope that “the other 14 Dioceses (that) did not participate in last year’s campaign will consider doing so this year. With the blessing of the Bishops and the support from all of us, we can easily achieve our 10,000 (units of blood) target.”