Blood Donation Saves Lives

| April 13, 2015

Blood plays a critical role in keeping the body alive as it regulates the body’s systems and supplies tissues with oxygen and nutrients.

Without blood there is no life, therefore it is essential for people to donate blood in large numbers to curb the shortage of blood in reserves and save lives. Donating blood helps reduce preventable deaths such as loss of blood from injuries, bleeding disorders, hemophilia and others.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the standard age limit for blood donation are 18 to 65 years while in Botswana it is 16 to 65 years. The principal recruitment officer for the National Blood Transfusion Services, Mr Joseph Moatshe said “before an individual can donate blood, we run some tests to check blood pressure and ensure that the person is fit to donate blood.”

An average person should donate 450 ml of blood and males could donate every three months and females every four months, he said. Botswana requires 40 000 units annually, but collects about 22 000 annually which is only one per cent of the population.

He said it was important for blood transfusion to match the blood type of the recipient to prevent complications. “We have what we call post donation counseling whereby we counsel donors whose blood are infected to get medical attention,” he added.

“Blood has a lifespan of 42 days, and if the blood stays in the refrigerator beyond its lifespan we regard the blood as useless,” he said. However, he said they had never experienced such incidents because the demand for blood was high.

Mr Moatshe said there were six blood donation centres in the country, and that Gaborone was the national transfusion centre and Francistown the regional transfusion centre.

He also noted that Molepolole, Mahalapye, Serowe and Maun hospitals were donation sites where people could donate blood to safe lives.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

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