NBSZ em­barks on blood col­lec­tion cam­paign

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Reporter

THE National Blood Ser­vices of Zim­babwe (NBSZ) in part­ner­ship with var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions has em­barked on a mas­sive blood col­lec­tion cam­paign in prepa­ra­tion for this year’s fes­tive sea­son.

Other part­ners in the cam­paign in­clude the Traf­fic Safety Coun­cil of Zim­babwe (TSCZ), the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice, Ve­hi­cle Reg­is­tra­tion De­part­ment (VID), National Aids Coun­cil (Nac), the Bulawayo City Coun­cil, com­mu­ni­ties and some Gov­ern­ment min­istries.

NBSZ Mata­bele­land re­gion pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Mr Si­fundo Ng­wenya yes­ter­day said the aware­ness cam­paign seeks to ed­u­cate the pub­lic on the im­por­tance of do­nat­ing blood and en­cour­ag­ing more Zim­bab­weans to par­tic­i­pate in the drive to save lives.

He said the cam­paign would be launched on Novem­ber 30, 2016 with a num­ber of do­na­tion points se­lected to be open for all walk-in donors to do­nate blood at their con­ve­nient time.

“Through this ini­tia­tive, the cam­paign also aims to ed­u­cate road traf­fic users about driv­ing re­spon­si­bly as road car­nage neg­a­tively im­pacts on blood bank stock lev­els. Dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son espe­cially, there is a need for peo­ple to do­nate blood so that it is avail­able when it is needed.

“We seek to bring sig­nif­i­cant sta­bil­ity in safe blood stocks dur­ing the Christ­mas hol­i­day thereby pro­vid­ing a long-term solution to these sea­sonal short­ages,” said Mr Ng­wenya.

He said the NBSZ had roped in mem­bers of the me­dia not only through pub­li­cis­ing the cam­paign but also do­nat­ing blood.

“We’re invit­ing mem­bers of the me­dia to come and do­nate blood. Our pas­sion­ate plea also goes to sports teams and other cor­po­rate groups to be part of this cam­paign.

“On De­cem­ber 3, 2016 we’ll be work­ing with the com­mu­nity at the Zizwe­zonke Com­plex, Brad­field and we in­vite all reg­u­lar and new donors to come in their num­bers. On De­cem­ber 9 and 10, we’ll take our blood drive to our of­fices in Bulawayo along 4th Av­enue and Josiah Ton­gog­ara Street and Eve­lyn High School,” said Mr Ng­wenya.

He added that they would pro­ceed to Mvuthu High School in Esigo­dini for the in­au­gu­ral launch of the Pledge 25 Club Zim­babwe.

“At Mvuthu High School, we’ll work with Nac, the Young Peo­ple’s Net­work and the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion to col­lect as much blood as we can. The youth and the com­mu­nity are in­vited to sup­port this event.

“On days yet to be ad­vised, we’ll take our cam­paign to Dingu­muzi Pri­mary School in Plumtree and the NSSA Com­plex in Gwanda,” said Mr Ng­wenya.

He said it was dif­fi­cult to say how much blood is re­quired adding that in­take dif­fers with the dif­fer­ent in­ci­dents that make peo­ple re­quire blood.

“Some­time the up­take is high, some­times it’s slow de­pend­ing on the ac­ci­dents that oc­cur, in­dus­trial fa­tal­i­ties and the other con­di­tions for ex­pect­ing women.

“If we man­age to have 1 000 units we might be able to be in a com­fort zone and ready for the fes­tive sea­son,” said Mr Ng­wenya.

He added that the cam­paign would run up to Jan­uary next year as the blood bank strives to keep its blood stocks high.

Mr Ng­wenya en­cour­aged new donors to be part of the cam­paign, say­ing about 60 per­cent of blood col­lected ev­ery year usu­ally comes from reg­u­lar donors.

“Ev­ery sec­ond there’s some­one who’s in need of blood. We there­fore need to work hard to make sure we’re not in short sup­ply. All those who’re aged be­tween 16 and 65 and are strong and healthy are free to come and do­nate blood,” he said. — @pame­lashumba1

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