$4,7 mil­lion pumped into free blood

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - HEALTH - Tan­yaradzwa Ku­taura

GOVERN­MENT has dis­bursed $4,7 mil­lion to the Na­tional Blood Ser­vices of Zimbabwe to en­sure stocks con­tinue to meet de­mand that has risen sig­nif­i­cantly since blood in both pub­lic and mis­sion hos­pi­tals was made free in July.

Be­fore Govern­ment’s in­ter­ven­tion, the price of blood was rel­a­tively higher than in the re­gion, with a pint go­ing for up to $250.

NBSZ pub­lic af­fairs man­ager Ms Es­ther Mas­sun­dah re­cently told The Sun­day Mail that, “Govern­ment, through the Min­istry of Health and Child Care, has pro­vided a sub­sidy amount­ing to $4,7 mil­lion to partly cover the cost of pro­duc­ing blood prod­ucts.

“NBSZ is man­dated to then dis­trib­ute blood and blood prod­ucts to pub­lic health in­sti­tu­tions such as Govern­ment and mis­sion hos­pi­tals with­out charg­ing user fees.

“How­ever, the sub­sidy does not cover pa­tients on med­i­cal aid as well as those ad­mit­ted at pri­vate health in­sti­tu­tions.

“Since July, NBSZ has since re­vised its col­lec­tion tar­gets for 2018 from 70 000 to 87 000 units of blood and has also put in place ad­di­tional mo­bile teams for its Harare, Bu­l­awayo and Mutare branches.”

Harare Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal CEO Dr Nyasha Ma­suka said blood up­take had in­creased by over 60 per­cent in July-Septem­ber 2018 com­pared to the same time last year.

“The sta­tis­tics of blood and blood prod­ucts for July to Septem­ber 2017 was 1 445 units.

“Then in 2018 dur­ing the same pe­riod (July-Septem­ber), 2 334 units were used. This shows an in­crease of 61,5 per­cent,” he said.

Parireny­atwa Group of Hos­pi­tals’ pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Mr Li­nos Dhire said up­take of blood at that in­sti­tu­tion rose 58 per­cent.

“Parireny­atwa Group of Hos­pi­tals is not fac­ing sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges with the in­crease in de­mand for blood since the Na­tional Blood Ser­vices Zimbabwe is pro­vid­ing enough stocks. Ev­ery de­serv­ing case is get­ting blood when­ever re­quired,” he added.

NBSZ’s blood col­lec­tions from Jan­uary to June 2018 pe­riod rose to 39 787 units, 26 per­cent more than last year.

NBSZ launched its Na­tional Fes­tive Sea­son Cam­paign on Novem­ber 1.

It will be fol­lowed up by the launch of the Youth Donor Month on De­cem­ber 1.

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