THE National Blood Service of Zimbabwe (NBSZ), has ramped up blood collection efforts as it aims to surpass its 2019 target of 108, 405 units.
By Michael Gwarisa in Marondera
The development comes at the back of indications that some provinces have of late been surpassing their monthly collection targets. In an interview with HealthTimes during the Mixed Gala in Marondera, NBSZ head planning and recruitment, Mr Tichaona Saira said they have activated Mixed blood Galas which cater for both sexes in most hard to reach areas in a bid to beef up stocks.
“The Mixed Gala normally takes place in April, August and December in Marondera so today the 26th, we are having our first mixed blood gala for the year. This is a nationwide gala, and we are saying for the main centres that is Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru, we have the Men’s Splash and the Ladies Galas.
“We had our ladies Splash in Harare on the 13 of April and now in areas like Marondera, Mvurwi, Chiredzi, Triangle, Plumtree, Gwanda, Thsolotso Kwekwe, we have these Mixed Galas so that we accommodate both females and males because of the distances they travel but in Harare, its quite easy for us because we are using the centers for collecting blood,” said Mr Saira.
He added that response to the Pledge 25 galas has also been overwhelming in almost every outreach activity they host.
“Nationally, during the first week of April, our mobile teams went out of their way. In Masvingo the mobile team was there for a total of five days and collected more than 100 units, in Harare we went to Chemhondoro where we collected 192 units, in Mutare they also had successful blood drive so as in Gweru they also had a successful blood drive in Mvuma.
“What we are observing now is that these pledge 25 blood drives are actually having a lot of support from the youth. We are also getting a lot of support from the corporates especially in Harare and Bulawayo. In Harare, we have got corporates like Autoworld, Paragon, and Alliance Health and next week, we will be visiting Cimas, IBO Zimbabwe, we have also lined up a blood drive for the CAIRNS group and we are also visiting Delta and Chibuku Super in Chitungwiza. This Sunday, we are having the Islamic Medical Aid, which is a Muslim community. On Saturday, the JCI is also coming to our clinic to donate.”
He also said they were excited with the level of repeat donors, especially those who started donating during their school days and continued way into their adulthood. He also applauded efforts by provincial blood clinics which he said are contributing immensely to the blood bank.
“We are on course to meeting our 2019 target, if you look at our collections ever since we started the year, we have a target for all our mobile teams and all our branches. I can gladly say we collected 643 units in March and for April, I would say Masvingo they had surpassed that by the second week of April.
“In Harare, most of our mobile teams have surpassed their target. Mobile team two and mobile team four have actually exceeded their target of 600 units. As we left Harare, mobile team six was around 500 units. I think if we are able to meet our month on month target, we will be able to meet our 2019 target,” said Mr Saira.
Meanwhile, Florence Isaac (24) a blood donor from Marondera said she started donating blood during her school days and she feels giving blood should be everyone’s responsibility.
“I started giving blood six years ago, I stared during my school days. Since my blood group is O, i feel it is my responsibility to save lives since the group O is on demand.
“I am Muslim and I give blood, giving blood must not be limited by our religious beliefs or superstitions. I encourage others to donate blood, anyone can get to a point of needing blooding blood one day,” said Florence.
Takudzwa Phiri (29) a researcher and blood donor said there was nothing to fear in giving blood and more young people should partake in this noble cause.
“This is actually my 19th donation. A lot of people are afraid of donating blood, they think their blood is being used for rituals or that kind of stuff. All that is false, as for me, I don’t see anything wrong with giving blood. Giving blood is actually healthy for the body, scientifically, it has been proven that when you give blood, there are more cells that regenerate as soon as you donate blood.
“I give blood to help people and to save lives. That’s me, I do it for the love of it. My word of advice especially to the young people is they should come through, donating blood is not even scary, it’s actually beneficial for you and your family. Let’s say in the event that one of your family members needs a blood transfusion at some point, they will be given preference in a health institution,” said Takudzwa.
Nomore Mudonhi (44) said he has donated blood 16 times since 2011 and giving blood is the biggest gift he can give back to the nation.