Born on 24th September, 1957, Rt. Hon Speaker, Alban S.K Bagbin turned 64 years last Friday, September 24, 2021. Alban Bagbin hails from Sombo, a farming community in the Nadowli/Kaleo District of the Upper West region. He has risen from being the longest serving Member of Parliament to becoming the first Speaker of Parliament from an opposition party in Ghana.
As part of celebrations to mark his 64th birthday, the Speaker decided to stock the blood bank of the Nadowli District Hospital of the Upper West region with about 230 pints of blood. This was done through a blood donation exercise organized by the Rt. Hon ASK Bagbin in Nadowli, the district capital of the constituency, Nadowli/Kaleo, where he represented in Ghana’s Parliament for twenty-eight (28) years consecutively before becoming the Speaker of the House in January this year.
Hundreds of people; from far and near, within and outside the constituency, young and old, men and women, thronged the donation centre to bleed in honour of Dr. Alban Bagbin whose ultimate aim is to save lives in the area through the provision of blood. Over 400 people out of the many that came to support the celebration went through the screening processes with 227 people successfully donating blood to help the course. Other qualified donors could not bleed as they left the centre for homes due to nightfall, with some promising to report the following day at the hospital to donate.
Expressing her joy and gratitude to the Rt. Hon Speaker for the initiative, District Director of Health Services in the area, Madam Phoebe Balagmum said blood is an essential commodity in health care delivery, stating that “a hospital that has no blood is not a hospital, because blood is an essential component of our service delivery”. She added that anybody without blood will be taken to the grave in no time.
The director explained that the demand for blood is not limited to any particular group of people as accident victims, pregnant women, snakebite victims, mothers in labour and children are all classes of people who always require blood for survival. With all these people in need of blood, Ms. Balagmum said it becomes difficult for the hospital to meet its blood demands all the time.
Phoebe Balagmum underscored the impact the Bagbin@64 Blood Donation Exercise would have for healthcare delivery in the Upper West Region. She disclosed that the Nadowli District Hospital “on monthly basis requires 80 pints of blood”. She noted that “the blood situation in the hospital is nothing to write home about” as people do not voluntarily donate blood to help the hospital meet its target. Madam Phoebe revealed that the hospital serves not only the Nadowli/Kaleo district but other districts in the Upper West region.
For the District Director of Health Services, the initiative by Mr. Bagbin is very timely as it will save lives in the region. She thanked the third most important gentleman of the country for his continuous support to the health sector in the district, and wished him well as he adds another year. Ms. Phoebe therefore implored the general public to emulate the gesture by the former MP and donate blood to the various health facilities in the region as that will improve health service delivery.
Speaking on behalf of staff of the Speaker’s secretariat, Special Assistant to Alban Bagbin, Lord Michael Batuolkuu called on the Upper West region to count themselves lucky for having an illustrious son as Bagbin who has become a global personality and still does not forget his roots. He urged them to hold him in high esteem and support him to rise higher as they stand beneficiaries of his success.
He thanked all those who converged to bleed during the exercise and prayed they regain the lost blood as quickly as possible. Mr. Batuolkuu also pledged their continuous support for Bagbin as staff of his secretariat. He wished him prosperity and long life as he continues the journey to impacting lives positively.
The occasion also saw a donation of assorted soft drinks, biscuits, pampers, toiletries, tissue papers and detergents to the Children’s Ward of the hospital. These items together amounted to about GH¢5,000.00.
The event, though in the absence of Mr. Bagbin himself, saw massive attendance from various communities within the district and beyond.