The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, gave the warning at a press conference to commemorate the National Blood Donation Day campaign in Abuja on Friday.
Pate said this was in line with the resolutions made during the 55th National Council on Health to ensure unhindered access to safe blood and blood products.
The minister, who was represented by the Director, Tertiary Hospital Division of the ministry, Dr Amuno Ogbonna, added that the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) has commenced the registration of all hospital blood banks and Blood Establishments (BES) nationwide for effective regulation of their activities.
He said: “I wish to remind all blood safety stakeholders that the use of Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique remains the minimum standard for screening of blood meant for transfusion purposes in Nigeria.
“I further wish to reiterate that the continuous use of rapid test kits to screen blood meant for blood transfusion in Nigeria is unacceptable and I urge all stakeholders to ensure that they fully comply with this government’s decision.”
Also speaking, the Acting Director General of NBSC, Dr Eneye Suberu, said the event was to ensure year-round blood donation, to maintain adequate supplies, and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusion.
Suberu said: “This campaign is to bring voluntary blood donation to the consciousness of the citizens through sensitisation and public enlightenment activities, and varied forms of media engagement.
“Highlight the need for committed, year-round blood donation, to maintain adequate supplies, and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusion.”
The highest blood donor, Mzega Micheal, who has donated 76 times, urged the government to accelerate provision of more donation centres as the fifteen in the country were inadequate.