THE National Blood Service of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has introduced a raft of measures among them social distancing to curb the spread as well as prevent contamination of blood and blood products with the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
By Michael Gwarisa
NBSZ Chief Executive Officer Ms Lucy Marowa said blood was a daily need and despite the fact that Zimbabwe and the world is grappling with Covid-19, blood remains a necessity.
As a key player in the Zimbabwe health sector, NBSZ takes the well-being of blood donors, colleagues, customers and blood partners seriously. Blood is needed daily during crisis periods so we want to reassure our blood donors that NBSZ has taken precautionary measures to protect blood donors.
“Since the declaration of the Covid-19 as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), NBSZ is complementing national response efforts being carried out in the country to prevent further incidence of an outbreak or infections, “said Ms Marowa.
She added that her organisation has developed its response guidelines to COVID-19 that readies them when called upon to act the situation in a manner that prioritises blood donors and NBSZ staff.
“We would to inform you of the precautionary measures we have taken as NBSZ to reduce the risk associated with the spread of COVID-19 virus. We have introduced wipes or similar sanitisers containing 70 percent alcohol at all NBSZ entrances and exits points. We urge all our donors and visitors to cooperate.
“We are also introducing the recommended social distancing of at least one metre between people, especially at donor screening areas and we are minimising crowding of facilities during blood donations.”
The NBSZ has also introduced additional COVID-19 health assessment questionnaire for blood donors, targeting mainly potentialy exposed panels e.g static clinincs and community panels.
“Donors exhibiting any flu-like symptoms or signs of infection should self-defer until they are in good health. Furthermore, donors who could have traveled to countries with known cases should not donate blood for at least 28 days.”