The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to use his leadership position to “instruct the Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi to immediately, fully and effectively enforce the judgment stopping all Lagos hospitals and health facilities from demanding compulsory blood donations from any patients or their relatives as precondition for medical attention either in antenatal and maternal or any other health services.”
In an open letter dated 3 March, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The enforcement of the judgment will be a special moment for the implementation of the government’s strategies towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Following a suit brought by SERAP, Justice Raliat Adebiyi of the Lagos High Court yesterday held that demanding compulsory blood donation from those seeking medical attention including maternity services, is arbitrary, unfair and a violation of their human rights including the rights to life and to equal opportunity for everyone within the health system.
The letter read, in part: “The enforcement of the judgment will also show Lagos State as a champion of the SDGs and be entirely consistent with international standards and best practices, including those developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which recognize that the safest blood donors are voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors. The WHO has in fact recommended that no coercion should be brought to bear upon the donor to donate.”
“The effective enforcement of the judgment will also improve maternal health, comply with WHO’s policy to improve the availability and use of safe blood to save the lives of women during and after childbirth, as well as ensure universal access to safe blood transfusion particularly for patients that are vulnerable to blood shortages and to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections, in support of the SDGs.”
“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in instructing Professor Abayomi to enforce and implement the judgment by Justice Adebiyi’s judgment.”
“We look forward to working with you, Professor Abayomi and the Lagos State Ministry of Health in the efforts to enforce and implement the judgment. We would be happy to provide further information or to discuss any of these issues in more detail with you.” said SERAP