Parliament Committee given seven days to audit blood availability in health facilities


The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has penned Parliamentary Committee on Health demanding for an audit on blood collection, distribution and accessibility.

In a letter addressed to Health committee Chairperson Dr Matthews Ngwale, CDEDI expressed dissatisfaction with news that the country is experiencing acute shortage of blood supply, a development that has led to loss of many lives and is said to have prompted the suspension of surgery in the public health facilities.

Looking at the fact that any person at any given time is a potential candidate for blood transfusion, CDEDI Executive Director, Sylvester Namiwa, has given the committee seven days to act on this very pertinent matter.

“We at CDEDI and indeed all well-meaning Malawians find solace in your leadership’s speed and dedication in handling health related matters in the country. On behalf of patients who are queuing up waiting for blood to undergo surgery, we are giving your Committee 7 days to act on this matter,” he said.

On how to undertake the audit, Namiwa has hinted that the committee should invoke its constitutional powers and oversight role to call for a blood collection, distribution and accessibility audit in all public institutions in the country in line with the Public Finance Management Act, and audited reports should be submitted to the Auditor General (AG).

And that the committee should call for a public hearing to justify the perennial blood shortages in Malawi.

“Additionally, the Committee should summon the Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) management to share its plans in revamping the blood collection exercise to meet Malawi’s needs,” suggests Namiwa who has also demanded for the launch of an independent investigation to ascertain the failure to collect blood as required.

Namiwa is of the view that it is from such undertakings where authorities can devise a mechanism to make blood accessible in hospitals to enable all patients get it when needed.

Dr Ngwale is yet to comment on the contents of the letter.

However, CDEDI has said this matter should be treated with all urgency it deserves considering that out of requirement of 500 blood units per day, according to CDEDI investigations, MBTS is only able to make available 100 units per day.

MBTS banks on school children and age bracket of 16 to 65 as its donors of blood but the challenge is that people are reluctant to donate blood because even though blood is donated for free, the recipients get the blood at a fee. MBTS justifies the fees as a contribution for logistics and storage processes.

Follow us on Twitter: