THE National Blood Service of Zimbabwe (NBSZ), has acknowledged the immense role blood donors play in ensuring the blood bank is fully stocked to meet the ever growing demand for blood and blood products.
By Michael Gwarisa
Zimbabwe today (14 June 2022) joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Blood Donor Day. In an interview with HealthTimes, NBSZ Chief Executive Officer, Ms Lucy Marowa said there has been tremendous improvement in blood collections despite existing operational challenges.
I want to thank our blood donors for the support that they have been giving us. This year, the support has really come through with the opening up of industry and life getting back to normal, we have really seen a surge in the number of blood donors coming through and an improvement in our collections,” said Ms Marowa.
She however said even though blood collections have greatly improved, challenges within the supply chain continue to affect stocks.
“At the same time, we have our own operational challenges that we are facing within the supply chain so that’s the reason why our stocks are very poor. It has nothing to do with our blood donors because those ones are standing with us, they are available when we need them.
“It is us who have challenges with a number of reasons which I may not be able to go into detail but I wish to thank the donors for being there and for stepping out in their numbers. In fact, if you look at our statistics from the beginning of the year, I think there has been a marked improvement from the time that COVID-19 set in.”
For the past two years since the onset of COVID-19, the blood bank had been operating at about 60% capacity. Due to the opening up of the economy, Ms Marowa says there has since been a huge improvement and they operating at about 80 or 90% capacity which almost their usual capacity.
“Our blood donors have made this possible. However in terms of blood stocks, we are still very poor, we are operating at less than a day’s supply and this has nothing to do with the blood donors, they are always on standby. At the moment we do not have the capacity as an organisation due to other challenges,” said Ms Marowa.