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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :