MBTS urges Malawians to donate blood to save more lives


The Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS) has disclosed that it is facing a deficit of blood in its reserves and has asked the general public to embrace a spirit of donating blood in order to help save more lives.

MBTS Medical Officer Dr. Wilfred Dzama said the current situation on the levels of blood stock is not healthy in as far as provision of quality health care system is concerned.

He made the call in Balaka on Saturday during the commemorations of the 2023 World Blood Donor day which was held under the theme: ”give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.”

Dzama said a survey conducted in 2018 revealed that Malawi needs 120,000 units of blood annually but the highest collection achieved so far is 87,000 units of blood which was recorded in the year 2022.

He indicated that insufficient blood collection is making it hard for hospitals to provide necessary support to patients requiring emergency blood transfusion such as anaemic patients, pregnant women and road traffic accident casualties among others.

In a quest to bridge the gap, Dzama said MBTS has taken on board some interventions to help in gaining more regular blood donors.

“In trying to address the challenge, we have embarked on various interventions to improve the current status. For instance, we are conducting research in Partnership with the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHES) in which we are trying to identify factors which would facilitate and enhance regular blood donation.We have also partnered with TNM who remind our regular blood donors through mobile phone messages to go and donate blood when their time for donation is approaching. Apart from that, we also have teams in all our centres who goes around with motivational talks and awards of recognition, among others,” Dzama said.

In his remarks, Director of Health and Social Service for Balaka, Dr. Chimwemwe Thambo, commended MBTS for improving health service delivery in Balaka and the entire Eastern region hospitals.

“As Balaka District hospital, we receive a lot of road traffic accident casualties as we are near the M1 road stretch which is prone to road accidents.

”Having MBTS centre within our viccinity is a plus to us as they always give us a helping hand whenever we reach out to them for their support,” said Thambo.

He went on to remind every Malawian to have a shared responsibility in donating blood inorder to beat the challenge of insufficient stock of blood in the hospitals.

For Michal Chimangeni, a ten time blood donor from Ntakataka, Traditional Authority Kachindamoto in Dedza District, donating blood is his routine exercise.

Michael was involved in a car accident where he nearly died. Due to the impact of the accident, he suffered dangerous cuts in his abdomen and back and this led to him losing excessive blood.

But his life was fortunately saved after he was transfused with another blood from a person he cannot even recognize until now.

He therefore hailed MBTS for saving his life and urged those who have never donated blood to join the course and save lives.

The World blood donor day is commemorated annually on 14 June but this year, Malawi commemorated the day on 17 June.

The event was held in the four districts of Balaka, Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

The day was set aside to provide a special opportunity to celebrate and thank voluntary blood donors around the world for their gift of blood and has become a major focus for action towards achieving universal access to safe blood transfusion.

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