THE National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) says blood supplies has been greatly reduced during the Lockdown period at the back of shortages of critical imported consumables such as test kits and blood bags, owing to serious funding and procurement challenges.
By Michael Gwarisa
The Blood Bank’s Public Affairs Manager, Ms Esther Massundah in a statement said due to the to the COVID-19 pandemic, the procurement of these critical items has been delayed due to logistics challenges caused by international travel restrictions, which has led to the scarcity of cargo flights.
Most of the critical items that are used to produce a safe unit of blood are imported and these challenges have not only impacted negatively on Zimbabwe but also other blood services in Africa. We are expecting arrival of part of these critical supplies by Friday 05 June 2020, which will lead us to work all weekend in order for normal services to resume by Monday 8 June 2020.
“Our Laboratories will remain operational throughout the weekend to clear any testing backlog and nsure that there is some normalcy on the supply of blood to the hospitals. These above said challenges have resulted in NBSZ reducing its planned blood collection schedules and calling of blood donors to our static clinics,” said Massundah.
NBSZ wishes to put it on record that current blood shortages ARE NOT due to shortage of donors and thus we would like to sincerely thank our blood donors who have remain committed to donating blood during the lock down period.
“We look forward to the continued support of our blood donors in ensuring that our blood banks become adequately stocked in order to avert any loss of life attributable to non-availability of blood supplies.
“Meanwhile, any inconveniences caused by the current undesirable state of non-availability of products are sincerely regretted. NBSZ continues to engage the relevant authorities in order to resolve the funding and logistics challenges so as to come up with a lasting solution to the current crisis. All lives matter and none should be lost due to unavailability of blood.”