THE World Health Organization (WHO) has called on Zimbabweans to donate blood and keep the blood bank fully stocked as it is an important health component necessary to save lives on daily basis.
Celebrating the World Blood Donor Day under the theme ‘Give Blood and keep the world beating, Dr Alex Gasasira,Z imbabwe WHO representative said around seven million patients in African countries require blood every year.
Safe blood and transfusion are key aspects in providing quality care to save mothers haemorrhaging during child birth and people with serious injuries. Blood is needed for surgical procedures, as well as to treat severe anaemia, inherited blood disorders, and other conditions. Blood can only be stored for a limited time therefore a steady supply of donations is important to make sure adequate blood products are always available.
“Over the past years, blood stocks decreased in the African Region as movement restrictions and fears of infection hindered people from accessing blood donation sites. The average blood donation rate dropped by 17% and the frequency of blood drives reduced by 25% demand for blood also decreased by 13% with the suspension of routine surgical procedures in many countries as well as due to fewer people seeking care in health facilities,” Dr Gasasira said.
WHO has partnered with Facebook where they have set up a Regional bank feature which connects with people with nearby blood banks, which is now with 12 countries with over 3,8 million Facebook users notified of blood donation opportunities.
Dr Gasarira added that “We are encouraging more young people to donate to save lives and inspire their peers and families to do so. In some countries,in line with national guidance, people aged 16 and 17 can donate blood with their parent’s or guardian consent, in all countries anyone over 18 can save someone’s life by donating blood.