THE National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) says blood stocks are critically low ahead of the festive season in which demand is very high due to increased road traffic accidents.
NBSZ Communications Officer, Kudakwashe Chidziya, revealed this in a telephone interview with the Review & Mail, adding that they had already started blood drives in some companies to maximise on blood collections.
He said they were targeting to collect 6 960 whole blood units for this festive season which usually records high numbers of trauma victims due to blood loss as a result of road traffic accidents.
“Our stocks are critically low. This is because most of our youthful blood donors were not available due to exams and other life commitments. We are therefore, experiencing low blood collection and we appeal to everyone to participate in blood donations.
“Historically, the demand curve of blood is on the rise every festive season owing to high numbers of accidents. We therefore, always make sure that at least our stocks should be on +15% above the normal consumption to cater for the accident cases.”
He thanked tertiary students for helping their cause.
“We appreciate University of Zimbabwe, UZ Students who recently participated in our blood drives which were being done at the University the whole of this week. The level of consciousness of the students in blood issues gave us hope and we intent to carry out the exercise in other tertiary institutions as well.”
He said they are targeting other age groups as potential donors.
“The other blood donors are the middle aged and anyone else below the age of 60.”
Mr Chidziya said the annual end of year party they hold to celebrate blood donors was pending.
About 70 percent of blood stocks comes from school pupils with most of blood users in the adult population.
The blood bank uses blood in the region of about 1 500 pints per month if there are no serious eventualities that require increased blood supply.
According to the NBSZ website, all persons weighing 50 kilogrammes (kgs) or more are potential donors if they have no risks that can be transmitted to the recipients of their donated blood.
Blood Group O is the major type needed for donations since the bulk of Zimbabwe’s population falls within that group.