National Blood Services low on reserves

blood_driveHARARE - The National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) is facing serious blood shortages. NBSZ procures and supplies blood to public, mission and private hospitals, clinics and surgeries.

Although officials at the NBSZ could not reveal how much blood was in their reserves, they said the organisation started experiencing shortages last year over the third term period as they mostly relied on students for donations. Responding to questions sent to them via e mail, NBSZ Public Relations Officer, Emanuel Masvikeni, said reserves had been running low owing much to the fact that there had been a change in the public examination calendar which ran all the way to December 18 last year.

“The third term is characterised by public examinations and as such we did not want to interfere with school programmes. In this regard, the whole of December was set aside as Youth Donor’s Month (YDM). Unfortunately, due to the changes in planning in our part as NBSZ, it was difficult to procure blood as donors had already been notified of the dates of the blood collection drives, which in this respect were changed for the third time,” he said. Masvikeni said NBSZ was engaged in a blood drive programme aimed at ‘milking’ centres that failed to perform to required expectations during the YDM.

He said that although they were operating on a tight budget, the organisation had gone an extra mile by advertising ongoing blood drives on radio stations to increase blood levels in their reserves. “We are also working with uniformed forces and faith based organisations in order to recruit and retain donors whom we would otherwise lose once they leave secondary school. This might not be the immediate solution, but in our view it will go a long way to address the timeless problem of seasonal shortages,” added Msvikeni.

Post published in: Analysis

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