Donate Blood, Save Lives – Marope

| June 17, 2015

Former Miss Botswana, Ms Sumaiyah Marope, says Botswana is faced with a challenge of shortage of supply of blood.

Giving a keynote address during the World Blood Donor Day in Francistown recently, Ms Marope said the country had not been able to reach 40 000 units of blood, which were required annually.

She said the shortage of blood had in some unfortunate cases, resulted in the loss of lives and the Ministry of Health had since decentralised blood collection to health districts.

Ms Marope explained that since August 2013, blood could be donated at fixed centres and mobile hospital teams in Molepolole, Mahalapye, Maun and Serowe, and that the establishment of the four sites had a positive impact.

“3 552 units of blood were collected in 2014 at those new clinics and for the first time since the creation of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) in 2000, the milestone of 25 000 units was reached,” she said.

She said more than the 50 per cent of blood collected in the country came from students a thing that she said was good since young people tended to be healthy, idealistic and motivated. She encouraged young people to continue bringing more of their peers in the blood donation stream as they were a guaranty of a sustainable pool of safe blood donors.

She explained that for the past five years, secondary school panels have been providing the highest number of units of blood compared to other panels. “There was an increase of blood collected from secondary schools from 8 958 blood units in 2013 to 10 678 blood units in 2014,” she said.

Ms Marope said the expansion of the Pledge 25 has also been of great assistance as it contributed tremendously to the availability of blood in the health facilities, as they continue to raise awareness on blood donation, in particular during the time when blood is needed the most.

Nyangabgwe Hospital Superintendent, Dr Malaki Tshipayagae said it is still a challenge to find adequate non-remunerated blood donors.

He said through the theme, “Thank you for saving my life,” the World Health Organisation (WHO) wanted to recognise and thank those who made a contribution to the survival of humankind by donating blood regularly without expecting anything in return.

Dr Tshipayagae thanked the secondary school management teams around the country for opening doors for the NBTS to train teachers and head masters on blood donation issues.

He also thanked the secondary school students for their efforts to make time between their studies to donate blood. Deputy Customary Court President, Kgosi Pogisego Mosarwe of Phase 1V Customary Court said blood transfusion helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer and it also supports complex medical and surgical procedures.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

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