The Medical Centre of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti recently sensitized the university community on blood donation. In a one-day seminar entitledThanks for Saving My Life, the Head, University Medical Centre, V. A. Ige (MD), disclosed that a US report says that “every two seconds, someone will need blood to survive.” He encouraged people to donate blood as many persons who would still be alive had died from blood shortage in their body system.

Doctor Ige explained the connectivity of blood functions in the body which include transportation and distribution of oxygen, fighting against infection and transportation of food nutrients. He also emphasized on the benefits of blood donation to the donor because it reduces the risk of cancer, burns calories, allows free health check-up, helps to reduce excess levels of iron in the blood and above all, producing in the donor the joy of saving a life.

He revealed that the eligible age for blood donation is between 18 and 65 years while the donor must weigh not less than 50kg. He strictly warned that a person must not donate blood more than twice a year for health purposes. He, however, advised that before donation, one must undergo screening to ensure he does not display the high risk behaviours associated with certain infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hypertension, syphilis, sleeping sickness, cancer, and diarrhoea, among others.

An officer from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr. Peter Nnamani, spoke on drug abuse and related vices.

He mentioned some illegal drugs such as cannabis, marijuana, heroin and cocaine as distinct from the legal types which include off-counter drugs such as pain relievers. He classified drugs into therapeutic drugs and recreational drugs. According to him, therapeutic drugs are for curative purposes. Examples of therapeutic drugs are aspirin and

paracetamol for pains, antibiotics for infection, while recreational drugs are drugs used for fun. Their effects are often neglected.

Examples of this type are cigarettes and alcohol in beer. Mr. Nnamani warned that even the drugs designated as legal can be abused when taken without the doctor's prescription or by taking an overdose of prescribed drugs. These attitudes are also logged under drug abuse together with the use of the prohibited types. He disclosed that penalty for drug abuse is 15 years in jail with hard labour. In view of this, he advised strongly that students should stay away from drugs and be law abiding.

Mr. Nnamani stated that drug abuse starts from experimental stage to occasional stage, from where it moves to regular stage and finally to addicted stage and then develops into a societal problem. He identified some factors that lead to drug abuse as environmental factors, frustration, desire to succeed and economic depression. He also mentioned ways to identify an addict through arrogant attitude, physical appearance, red and puffy eyes, inability to concentrate, dishonesty, unreliablity, among other indicators. “If you are not concerned about it, you are yet to be a victim, that's why we must stand and fight against it in our society,” he said.

FUOYE officers present were the Registrar, Mr. Daniel Abiodun Adeyemo, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Professor Isaac Asuzu, Mrs. Olowokere who represented the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. O. O. Fasoranti, and Head of Medical Centre, V. A. Ige (MD). Other members of staff of the university were also in attendance.