THE National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) kicked off its festive season national blood drive campaign which aims among other things to beef up stocks and raise awareness on the blood situation in the country ahead of the forthcoming festive season.
By Michael Gwarisa
The festive season is usually associated with huge demand for blood due to the high road traffic accidents associated with the period. NBSZ activated the blood drives with a campaign event in Chitungwiza at Seke 1 High School yesterday, November 1, 2018.
Speaking on the development, NBSZ Public Affairs Manager, Esther Massundah said they had adopted a two pronged approach to the campaign where they are targeting both adults and young people.
“The campaign is targeting both youth and adults under a two pronged theme; Youths-P25 Club – A Hand for Another, I Pledge 25, Adults; #BeThe1 #LifeisintheBlood. Blood collections target for the campaign is 15 830 units of blood (November-December 2018).
“With the coming in of the free blood initiative for all public health institutions, NBSZ adjusted its 2018 annual collections target upwards by 25% from 70 000 to 87 000 units of blood,” said Massundah.
Government declared blood free at all public hospitals early this year a situation which triggered demand for blood as most patients ditched private health centers in pursuit for the life saving commodity which is still being pegged above a $100 in most private hospitals.
“A series of blood drives are lined up throughout November-December targeting both the urban and rural community. Festive season is usually marred by high road carnage, high demand for blood and blood products. and long school break which narrows blood collections during this period to the adult populace.
“NBSZ is appealing to members of the public both youth and adults to be a part of this campaign by donating blood.
An update of the blood drives calendar will be provided through the NBSZ publicity platforms. Our static clinics are located in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare”
According to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), the number of deaths as a result of road accidents in the December 2017 festive season increased by 47 people from 89 deaths that were recorded during the same period in 2016.
A total of 1398 accidents were recorded during the period compared to 1396 last in 2016. 136 people died compared to 89 last in 2016. 755 people were injured compared to 565 in 2016. There were 99 fatal road accidents compared to 82 in 2016.
December 22 recorded the highest number of fatalities with 19 deaths on the day.