MTN Ghana Foundation used this years Valentine's Day to hold its 6th annual Save a Life Project, during which it raised hundreds of pints or blood to support the National Blood Bank (NBB).
The project, dubbed ‘’Operation 2017", was also a prelude to the celebration of the Foundation’s 10th Anniversary later this year.
Over the last six years alone, the MTN Foundation blood donation exercise has collected over 3,715 pints of blood to support the National Transfusion Services and other regional hospitals.
Executive Director of MTN Ghana Foundation, Cynthia Lumor said this year the plan is to collect at least 2,017 pints of blood with the support of staff and partners across MTN offices in all the ten regions of Ghana.
Last year, the MTN ’Save a Life Project, exceeded its target of 1,200 by raising 1,645 pints of blood.
But Cynthia Lumor said that was still not enough because the Blood Bank only gets 66 per cent of the 250,00 pints of blood needed yearly to save lives, while some regional hospitals have absolutely no blood in their banks.
"It is our hope that through this initiative we will be able to help stock these hospitals with enough blood to meet their needs every year," she said.
Head of Donor Recruitment of the National Blood Bank, Sophia Marlsy Blankson asked the public to voluntarily donate blood so the blood bank can meet this year’s target of 2,600 pints of blood.
She said if they are able to meet the 2,600 annual targets, finding blood for people who need it, would be an easy thing.
Sophia Marlsy Blankson also called on the Health Ministry lead to make the National Blood Bank an autonomous body like the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and also to equip it with the needed logistics so they can function more effectively.
"Our greatest joy will be to become an autonomous body and be equipped with the needed resources so function effectively," she said.
She also used the occasion to demystify the myth around albinos and blood donation, saying that albinos are capable of donating blood just like any other person, provided they meet all the criteria laid down.
Some Ghanaian journalists were part of the blood donors this year.