THE National Blood Service of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) says the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has remained true to their word in supporting the country’s free blood initiative, a facility that facilitates free access to blood and blood products for vulnerable citizens in all public health institutions.
By Michael Gwarisa
The free blood initiative was launched in 2018 by the then minister of heath, Dr David Parirenyatwa where government committed to funding the initiative using funds generated from the health levy.
In an Interview with HealthTimes, NBSZ Chief Executive Officer, Ms Lucy Marowa said the free blood initiative was here to stay.
Looking at the first half of the year with regard to the free Blood initiative, the government has managed to sustain the subsidy for free Blood in all public health institutions in Zimbabwe,” said Ms Marowa.
She added that even though they experienced numerous operational challenges since beginning of the year, government has been intervening to avert any issues that threatened free blood the initiative.
“Whenever we had challenges, we managed to resolve the hiccup amicably. We are grateful for the effort that the government is putting in trying to sustain the free blood initiative regardless of the economic challenges we are facing as a country. As we enter into the second half of the year, we are confident that the free Blood initiative will continue till the end of the year and beyond.”
Meanwhile, the NBSZ has set an ambitious target of collecting 97, 500 units of blood in the year 2021 at the back of a reinvigorated blood collection strategy that lolls beyond collecting blood from schools only.
The new blood collection strategy includes focusing attention on alternative collection sources such as corporates, community panels, the youths through the Pledge 25 initiative, a program that targets youths and contributes not than 15% to the national blood bank stocks.