Blood under collection worries MBTS

A woman donates blood

Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) has expressed worry over the small amounts of blood that it collects in the country.

In an interview on Sunday at St Andrews CCAP Church in Mzuzu, MBTS northern region deputy spokesperson, Alex Henry Sakala, said last year, the body collected 60,000 units of blood against the required 120,000.

“You may wish to know that blood is a very precious liquid that helps one to live a normal life, hence the call for people to do the noble cause.

“We fail to meet the target because we depend much on school-going students in secondary schools and we get almost 80 per cent from them,” Sakala said.

He said when blood is readily available in hospitals, it helps to save lives in need of it. The MBTS officer further explained that there are number of incidents that lead to blood transfusion such as surgery, road accidents, pregnancy complications and severe anemia common in children suffering from malaria.

He said MBTS adheres to World Health Organisation (WHO) standards on blood exchanging with money.

“People should know that blood is never sold; all blood is donated voluntarily and without remuneration.

“A service fee may be levied to cover costs incurred in processing the unit of blood to ensure that it is safe, effective and meets quality standards.

“These costs result in a service fee which covers all costs for taking blood from a donor to the patient. These are only levied to patients in private hospitals/private wards,” he said.

A Mzuzu resident working with Radio Tigabane, Augustine Thole who has donated blood 10 times, said he donates blood because he realizes that there are a lot of people in hospitals in need of it to survive.

“If you donate blood you save lives of people in hospitals, again if you or anyone close to you is in need of blood, you are given a priority to access it,” he said.

Eligible persons to donate blood are healthy males or females between the ages of 16 to 65 with body weight of at least 42 kgs who are not anaemic or pregnant.