$4,7 million pumped into free blood
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.