MASVINGO – The National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has kick started an ambitious festive season blood collection drive campaign to beef up stocks as the precious liquid is in high demand during this time of the year due to increased accidents.
The festive season is usually associated with huge demand for blood due to the high road traffic accidents associated with the period and there are no collections from examination classes which normally contribute quite a big chuck of blood hence the need to approach adults and other groups in society.
NBSZ Chief Executive Officer, Lucy Marowa, told The Midweek Watch that they are set to start the festive season blood drive this month.
“We are set to start the festive season blood drive this month and will disclose the dates as soon as they are out but definitely in the middle of this month”, said Marowa.
“The campaign is targeting potential and regular eligible blood donors aged between 16 and 60 years old to donate blood and blood drives will be organised at places convenient for blood donation sessions”.
She went on to say that festive season blood drives are meant to promote blood donation in communities such as NBSZ Pledge 25 Club Zimbabwe in towns, corporates, churches and any other various social gatherings.
NBSZ is appealing to members of the public to be part of this campaign to boost the blood stocks before, during and after the festive season break.
Marowa further stated that on a daily average consumption is 316 units of blood and currently NBSZ only have three days’ supply.
“Currently, we have only three days’ supply of blood in the blood bank and this is insufficient to also meet the demand for O positive blood and the optimum capacity of the blood bank is to have at least five days’ supply of blood,” said Marowa.
“NBSZ blood collections for Quarter 1 to Quarter 3 in 2023 have surpassed the 2022 figure and we are likely to reach over 65 000 units. We are on the recovery path after the COVID 19 era and we are looking forward to better prospects again in the coming year”.
NBSZ’ s mandate is to collect, process, screen and distribute blood and blood products to medical institutions for patients who need it.
The multi award winning Marowa reiterated that NBSZ do not determine the mechanism for patient transfusions once blood reaches the medical institutions and if there is need for any complaints, they should be directed to the relevant hospital authorities if cases of any malpractices are encountered.