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Ehanire: We’re researching on how blood plasma can be used to treat COVID-19 cases

Ehanire: We’re researching on how blood plasma can be used to treat COVID-19 cases
June 14
21:24 2020

Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, says the federal government is working on a research that involves using plasma from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients to treat people infected with the disease.

Ehanire, who spoke on Sunday at a news conference to commemorate the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD), said some research institutes were already working on the new study.

TheCable had reported how some survivors of COVID-19 were said to be donating their blood plasma in the hope that it would help infected people recover from the virus.

This was after Chinese medical experts suggested that severely ill COVID-19 patients could benefit from infusions of blood plasma collected from people who have recovered.

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According to the minister, plasma of patients who recovered from COVID-19 is called convalescent plasma.

“It is believed that persons who suffered COVID-19 and have recovered will have antibodies inside their plasma, which can be used to treat others,” Ehanire said.

“It can be used to treat others who are not able to build antibody fast enough or those who are suffering from a severe form of the virus.

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“Yes, our research centres are participating in looking at what advantages and benefits can come out of convalescent plasma.

“I have seen this particular research in Lagos; it is part of what will be studied and the result will be published so research is going on it.’’

The minister asked Nigerians to donate blood to save the lives of those in need, adding that people should shun some myths surrounding blood donation.

“Myths are part of ignorance that education should fight and stakeholders are supposed to enlighten people on this issue, that your blood is something that can save somebody life,” he said.

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“The blood is regenerated in your system; your body is stimulated to replace that blood donated so that blood that you donated, very soon, it is filled by your system.

“It is filled in such a way that a man can donate four times in a year while women can donate up to three times a year, provided they are tested fit.

“They can donate provided they are free of any sickness and provided they will not suffer any disadvantage from donating the blood.”

He said the ministry has been creating awareness on the need to donate, adding “donating blood provides availability of safe blood at hospitals and where they are needed”.

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“Nobody knows who will be in need of blood at any time so we have been embarking on media campaign and awareness creation to increase the number of voluntary donors in the country,’’ he said.

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