Adequate Blood Supply Remains Challenge

| June 17, 2015

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Ms Shenaaz El-Halabi, says transfusion of blood and blood products help to save millions of lives every year.

Speaking at the commemoration of World Donor Day on Sunday (June 14), Ms El-Halabi said the need for adequate and safe blood could not be overemphasised.

“Blood is needed for critical conditions such as trauma, accidents, complications during pregnancy and many other conditions that might require blood transfusion,” she said.

She said Ministry of Health applauded all the blood donors who , throughout the years, had significantly contributed to the good health of the people.

“In Botswana, we are proud to have 100 per cent donation from voluntary and unpaid blood donors,” she said. However, Ms El-Halabi said all over the world, the supply of adequate blood was a challenge and Botswana was not an exception.

She revealed that Botswana had not been able to reach the 40 000 units of blood required annually, adding that the shortage of blood had in some unfortunate cases resulted in loss of lives.

“It is our hope that with the support of you all, we will reach the required 40 000 units in the near future. The blood you donate gives someone another chance to live, blood donation will cost you nothing but will save a life,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms El-Halabi stated that 60 per cent of units of blood collected in the country come from the students and its assuring since young people tend to be healthy, idealistic and motivated.

She also said for the past five years, secondary schools panels have been providing the highest number of units compared to other panels.

Princess Marina Hospital’s Dr David Tamuhla said donors are partners with doctors in saving lives. He said it is important to donate blood since blood cannot be manufactured or bought.

He said most groups in need of blood are women, people with HIV, kidney, cancer and diabetes. He said most of women lose more blood during delivery and in cases of abortion and need blood transfusion to get back to normal.

He applauded blood donors for helping those who need blood to survive.

“The most important thing about donating blood is that you are giving life to someone else, there is no replacement or machine that manufactures blood,” he said.

For his part, BancABC managing director, Mr Jitto Kurian said their partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service as the financial institution brings their goals closer and aids in positively impacting on the society and economy.

“It is our hope that recipients of blood are restored to good health and goes on to become active members of society and contribute to the economy of Botswana,” he said.

The celebration of the World Donor Day was attended by many Batswana donors, amongst was the mayor for Gaborone, deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of health and other dignitaries.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

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