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We need blood

The festive season has taken its toll on end-of-year blood supplies as Namibia enters the new year with a blood shortage. This week, the blood transfusion service warned there is only a three-day blood supply available countrywide.
“Unfortunately, this happens every year, even though every effort was made to prevent this from happening at the end of 2014,” said Ms Zita Tobin, Donor Relations Supervisor at The Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia.

The, Donate Before You Go campaign was launched as a collaborative effort between the blood transfusion service, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations and the Ministry of Health and Social Services. It encouraged the Namibian public to donate 5200 units before Christmas to ensure a sustainable blood supply for the Festive and New Year Seasons.
By Christmas, the target was 1100 units short of the 5200 mark, which most likely lead to the current shortage. Blood shortages are often not caused by an increased demand for blood, but rather due to below target blood collections. This usually happens during extended holiday periods when donors are not readily available to give blood.
Blood products are needed not only for trauma and emergency cases, but also for mothers facing complications during pregnancy and birth, premature infants, burn victims, cancer patients, those awaiting an organ transplant, surgery patients and others with blood conditions.

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