Blood bank pins hopes on schools reopening
THE situation at the blood bank is gradually returning to normal amidst indications that at least four National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) branches are currently running at five days stock levels which is the normal levels for a healthy blood bank .
By Michael Gwarisa
The development comes at the back of a national call that was made by the the blood bank last month for donors to come forward and donate blood amidst indications that the blood stocks levels were sitting on less than a day’s supply owing to tight lockdown restrictions which made it difficult for blood donors to travel to blood donation points dotted around the country.
In an interview with HealthTimes, NBSZ Communications Officer, Mr Ephraim Mubayi said the call for blood donors had received a positive response from blood donors including those who had relapsed.
Three of our branches have stocks which is about 5-days days stock level. The other two are slowly building their stocks with support from other branches. The other two are slowly building their stocks with support from other branches.
“The most encouraging thing is that we also had new donors, lapsed donors who recommitted plus our regular active donors. There is still for improvement mainly with Harare and Bulawayo. Masvingo and Mutare are fairly stable while Gweru is on the boarder line if we assess from last week to date,” said Mr Mubayi.
The NBSZ has five branches in five towns in Zimbabwe that is Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo and Gweru. The blood bank also has at least 50,000 active donors within a year.
Meanwhile, the blood bank hopes that the reopening of schools will boost blood stocks since school children contribute above 70 percent of the blood that is collected annually.
“Schools provide a pool of high concentration of blood donor at a single moment, so this will immediately boost our blood bank. In as much as schools play a key role, this does not mean that as NBSZ we do not have a alternative sources for blood donations. NBSZ has a blood donor recruitment strategy that looks beyond schools thereby establishing sustainable sources.
“We collect blood from corporates, FBOs, community panels and the youth through the Pledge 25 Club Zimbabwe which is an initiative targeting the youth, and it contributes about 15% of blood in the national blood bank. These are all viable blood collection panels that we have been relying on for a long time,” added Mubayi.