Donors have stopped purchasing blood and blood products for Central Hospitals, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Secretary for Health Dan Namarika said in a letter to Central Hospitals that donors who were providing support through the Health Sector Joint Fund have pulled out.
“There have been ongoing discussions with the HSJF donors regarding the support they have been providing towards the purchase of blood and blood products from the MBTS.
“I wish to formally inform you that he donors have decided to stop financing the purchase of blood and blood products for Central Hospitals.,” Namarika said.
He added that hospitals will now start purchasing blood from the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS) using government provisions, starting from the current financial year.
However, MBTS has contradicted Namarika’s claims saying hospitals do not buy blood from the organization.
“My response is that no one is going to pay for blood,” said MBTS spokesperson Allen Kaombe.
He explained that the government support MBTS based on number of units of blood the organization supplies to public and mission hospitals.
According to Kaombe, every month reconciliations are done so that government funds to MBTS match the blood supply to the hospitals.
“Now this is not purchasing. It is called cost recovery system to sustain the national blood transfusion system of health delivery,” said Kaombe.
He added that the system was there before Health Sector Joint Fund entered into an agreement with government to support a number of health budgets including blood and blood products.