Blood shortage hits Malawi hospitals: MBTS sounds alarm

Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS) has sounded a panic button, saying blood shortage has reached alarming levels in hospitals because only a few people come to the centers to donate blood.

Some of the few people donating blood at Lilongwe MBTS Center -pic by LINA

Some of the few people donating blood at Lilongwe MBTS Center -pic by LINA

MBTS Lilongwe Center disclosed that they are collecting only around thirty units a day from a required amount of around 1000 units a day.

James Palapandu, Head of MBTS, Lilongwe Centre expressed worry saying hospitals may lose many lives which would have been saved if MBTS had enough blood to distribute in hospitals.

Palapandu complained: “It is just unfortunate that people are not forth coming to donate blood which has declined to 30 units a day from a required amount of 1000 units per day.”

According to Palapandu, Kamuzu Central Hospital alone needs 100 units of blood each day against the 30 units collected by MBTS. Additionally, there are other blood requirements from district hospitals for MBTS to consider.

He lamented further: “We are facing a huge challenge to convince people to donate blood, students are our biggest doors and we collect up to 70 units per day when schools are in session but when they close for holidays such as this time, the figure declines to around 30 units per day.

“ When schools open, we travel to schools to plead with them to donate blood but even among students it is not many who are willing to donate their blood.”

Palapandu also explained that after collecting blood at MBTS Lilongwe Center, they send the blood units to Blantyre for certification because Lilongwe Center has no such machine. He said in the past they used to do the certification manually which was tedious and time consuming.

The MBTS Head has therefore appealed to the general public to come forward and donate blood because one may not know who will need blood tomorrow.

Spokesperson for Kamuzu Central Hospital, Mabble Nkhata, who is also Deputy Director of the hospital responsible for nursing, refused to speak to the reporter speaking through her secretary that she was too busy despite the reporter pleading with her to explain the situation in the hospital with the shortage of blood so that the nation should immediately be sensitized. She said she could consider talking to the reporter possibly in three days time.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the nurses working at the Kamuzu Central Hospital confessed that a crisis has already begun because of lack of enough blood to give patients who need it, and she said many of them are just dying.

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25 thoughts on “Blood shortage hits Malawi hospitals: MBTS sounds alarm”

  1. tchutchutchu says:

    Ma authorities ena a mbts akukhalira ndalama ngati ndi zawo malo moti awapatse ma nurse awo kuti azikayenda kutalikutali kuti akapeze magazi.

  2. Agama says:

    CommentMBTS muzifikanso. Kumidzi apart from students.Kumathamangathamanga kufika paliponse.Partenership is very impotarnt you can reach out to corperate world for assitance to increase your activities of collecting blood.Osangothi phee! Chetechete sautsa nyama!

  3. Pwiya says:

    Typical of Malawians finding excuses why you cannot do something but someone else should do it for you or the government should do it for you etc. Those of you talking about payment inu simugula madzi from waterboard? dont you know that water comes freely from heaven as rain? why dont you take madzi amuzithapwi ndikumwa instead of payning monthly bills ku waterboard? zitserekwete stop talking nosense if you cannot donate blood and leave those who can donate do so

  4. Kenneth manusha says:

    Ndnapta ku chpatala cha ….. Ndpo ndnal nd vuto lotsowa magaz koma anandwuza kut ndkuyenera kugula magaz pomwe ndne 4 tims blood donor
    ndye mukuganiza kut olo ztavuta ndngakapeke magaz?

  5. Patriot says:

    Ma taituloayambapo:
    1. Blood shortage hits Malawi hospitals
    2. Cholera outbreak hits Blantyre
    3. Hunger hits Malawi

  6. wawa says:

    Nthawi ya kamuzu tinka thawa tikawona wopapa magazi ku school mu lilongwe … amathera pomwepo mpaka one week..kikikkkkkkkk….

  7. passwell says:

    akapeleka bwanji magazi coz ambiri mwa anthu ku malawi ali ndi Hiv,muyambe mwapanga kaye kafukufuku kuti chikupangitsa ndichani? mwina magazi akugulitsidwa kuma private clinics kokha coz mudzipatala za boma mwadzadza mbuli ma doctor enieni akumakagwila ntchito kunja

  8. Neverapine says:

    I dn understand thoz pipo hu r pointing fingers at mbts, the problem is with us malawians. We dn want 2 donate blood, chonsecho inu kapena m’bale wanu akadwala mumafuna magazi. Mumati achokera kutiko? kwa ng’pmbe kapena? Mbts is trying its best to mobilise people to donate blood but its just that people dnt want to donate blood

  9. Ny says:

    Simpo, MG shud arrange a special budget on that annually, a donor must receive some money when done, donating blood to the unknown is a very tough decision to make, blood is part of body and cant just be taken out anyhow..what we are loosing is far greater than a little we can spend…The problem with us, we want something precious 4 free from the blood owners who are holding the rights of donating it or not..

    1. Wachimalawi says:

      Really? How much would you put on saving a life? Where is your humanity? You should give blood cause you care and not for finincial gain.

  10. gwizima says:

    MALAWI BLOOD TRANSFUSSION AUTHORITIES Please be serious, have mobile centre units near locations, working places, etc because few would spend their hard earned money on transport looking for your centre to donate their blood. Opempha satopa, so please show some seriousness because its not that people don’t want to donate blood, but its the proximity of the centres that stops willing people from donating blood.

  11. ENOCH says:

    Kodi zopopa magazi musukulu zilipobe ana akuthawabe? hai ndadabwa

  12. mwika says:

    Its sad. I lost my brother in January this year. I know how critical it is. But the hospital staff also take too long to collect blood from thus centre to administer the transfusion. And Tha is exactly how my dear brother passed away.

    1. Wachimalawi says:

      Sorry to hear abou your brother, this should not happen, more people need to volunteer, can i ask if tou have donated blood yourself?

  13. kaputaputa gift says:

    Do a lot of campaign please MBTS

  14. Zanga Phee! says:

    The problem is how they motivate blood donors it does not sound attractive,they need to have a special meeting and plan how volunteers will be motivated.Almost 60%of donors for the past has been students,youth clubs and individuals.Why not state house,Military Police and other government institutions?now youth are sick and tired they should not die for the sake of volunteerism.Ask even Media houses it will be a proud to see like President APM Mr Gospel Kazako Cabinet ministers flocking to MBDS offices not only that but also Pastors Sheikhs it wouldn’t be a problem but who is working as public relations at MBDS? this is the time to show your skills not phwee syndrome in the offices then expect 1000 per day.See my name.

  15. GN Phiri says:

    Blood we donate for free, and yet I have been mesmerized to note that MBTS sells this blood at an exorbitant price. For instance there is a patient requiring blood at a certain Private Hospital in BT and is currently in need of K30,000.00 per pint of blood! I am also reliably told of regular cheque payment in favor of MBTS from Central Hospitals. Can MBTS please explain how much you charge for a pint that you get for free?

    1. Wachimalawi says:

      If this is true, it’s shocking, the government should put a policy where blood is free for all, tipange investigate za selling blood, “bloodgate” ayi

  16. Zambulo says:

    mumayelekedwa inu tikabwera kudzapeleka magazi. right now I have no interest in donating blook coz of the way I was treated by MBTC BLANTYRE.

  17. The Truthful One from the West says:

    Comment: A problem such as this one needs the attention of govt through Ministry of Health. However we should not expect any proactive action from Peter Mutharika’s govt.

  18. mulibwanji? says:

    Am one of the regular blood donors based in Blantyre. It is very unfortunate that there is blood shortage in our hospitals. However, let me urge MBTS to look critically on this. Blood is there but some evil medical professionals want to cash on this life. I donate for free but poor patients are forced to pay……….am not just saying. This is so discouraging to a registered blood donor like myself.


  19. Chakuchaku says:

    Sorry 4 that.

  20. Thumbwefu says:


  21. we should all kindly donate to our hospitals

  22. Phiri says:

    My relative died coz of lack of blood, despite the hosp having some in stock. Insisted that a relative must be the one to donate. I better reserve my blood for moments like these, otherwise MBTS is a great disappointment to our clan

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