A 21-year-old girl died on Saturday after the Ashongman Community Hospital in Accra refused to give her blood, even though she is a blood donor.
According to Adolf Lawson, father of the level 300 student of the Catholic University, doctors at the Ghana Atomic Energy Hospital, where his daughter was on admission, directed him to the Ashongman Community Hospital to purchase blood for his sick daughter, since they did not have the essential fluid at their facility.
He said he went to the Ashongman community hospital with his daughter’s blood donation card, in the hope that the body fluid will be given to him at a reduced cost, but that was not the case.
“The Atomic hospital officials told me to go to the Ashongman community hospital for the blood since they did not have it. I then decided to go with my daughter’s blood donation card and my own card as well, since some privileges are extended to donors who are in need of blood. I got to the hospital and the lab technician told me that he could not reduce the blood cost of GHC340 even though I was a donor. But I did not have that much on me,” the distressed father told StarrFMonline.com Monday.
He continued: “I begged the young man and even showed him proof that I have donated blood at their facility before, but he still insisted that until I am able to afford the cost, he cannot give me the blood. He subsequently directed me to the Amasaman hospital. I got there and there was no blood. I decided to go to the Achimota hospital where by the grace of God, I was able to procure the blood at a reduced rate of GHC120 because I showed them the blood donation cards. Unfortunately, when I returned to the Atomic Energy hospital my daughter had died”.
Reacting to the incident, the general manager for the Ashongman Community Hospital, Storms Wells, admitted that the hospital could not give the deceased’s father the needed blood because he could not afford it.
“It is true; he was here with the blood donation cards and requested that we gave him the blood for free, on the account that he was a donor. But the truth is, we do not give blood on that account. We purchase the blood from the blood bank and so we do not give it out for free,” he recounted.
Meanwhile, the director of the national blood bank, Stephen Addai, who expressed regret over the incident, told StarrFmonline.com that all efforts should have been made by the Ashongman Community Hospital to assist the father of the girl, regardless of his financial status, since he is a donor.
“ As a rule, priority is given to blood donors. Even though the product cannot be given for free, donors are given a special privilege. And in this case, the hospital should have provided the needed assistance to the father; it’s unfortunate that this had to happen”.