Blood supplies low – Eligible donors encouraged to donate
Namibia’s Blood Transfusion Service (NAMBTS) has unfortunately had to cancel numerous blood drives around the country which were scheduled to take place prior to the lockdown restrictions hence the blood collections countrywide have been impacted negatively.
“Our blood reserves have as a result dropped over the past two weeks and we are appealing to all eligible donors help save the lives numerous patients around the country by donating blood,” , NAMBTS spokesman Titus Shivute said.
According to Shivute the organisation currently has an 8-day blood supply which means there is currently sufficient blood for the 8 days if no further collections are attained.
“In order to meet the demand for hospitals and medical centers around the country, NAMBTS needs to collect an average of 150 units of blood every weekday. We have averaged below 100 units over the preceding two weeks and if the trend continues we could see potential shortages early next week,” he added.
Shivute said educational institutions contribute close to 30% of blood collections annually and unfortunately, they have not been able to host clinics at the institutions since March this year.
Shivute said to meet the demand, NAMBTS has embarked on a targeted approach towards regular donors and enhanced their retention efforts since donors are eligible to donate blood every 56 days.
“We have also introduced a shuttle service for donors who would like donate at our fixed centers and opened a new center at the Gwashamba Mall in Ondangwa to give residents of Ondangwa the opportunity to regularly donate blood,” he added.
There are numerous patients who require blood transfusions that include mothers who bleed excessively during childbirth, anemic patients, those with bleeding disorders as well as patients who have undergone various surgeries, he said.