The coordinator of the Security Sector Reform Working Group (SSRWG), Cecil B. Griffiths, has pleaded with Ebola survivors to make themselves available to donate blood that would help save the lives of so many people, who are also suffering from the deadly disease.
A recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that blood transfusion from the Ebola virus disease survivors would help in the prevention or treatment of those affected with the Ebola virus, and that convalescent plasma can be safe if provided by well managed blood banks.
Addressing a press conference in Monrovia last week, Mr. Griffiths disclosed that based on the WHO’s suggestion, his institution and the Musical Union of Liberia, of which he is an executive member, has begun raising funds to encourage people who have survived the deadly Ebola virus to come out and donate blood to help save the lives of other people, infected with the virus.
“We have raised money to support survivors of the virus to get food and financial incentives to prepare them to donate blood to save remaining Ebola patients,” Griffiths disclosed.
“Liberia now has over one hundred Ebola survivors whose blood can be used to save other patients.”
He was quick to express dissatisfaction about the manner in which people were stigmatizing Ebola’s survivors throughout the country.
“Many of the survivors are shunned by their communities and stigmatized. This would not help in the fight against the virus, because we need them so much to save the lives of hundreds of Ebola-affected people, by making use of the survivors’ blood,” he added.
According to him, their blood donation would also help in minimizing the stigma and resentment they are facing.
“This would reduce the stigma being faced by survivors, as we have heard from them, after being tested and declared Ebola free.”
“We have been informed that some Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) have just recently begun using the blood of survivors to treat others infected patients. We urge that this treatment option should be intensified and used by all centers in the country.”
He however suggested that
“An organized program to promote incentives for survivors, who are willing and medically fit to donate blood, would go a long way in combating the deadly Ebola virus and minimizing the stigma Ebola survivors face.”