Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has revised upwards the yearly target for blood collections from 70 000 to 87 000 units following increased demand due to the free blood policy in public health institutions.
In an interview with The Herald, NBSZ spokesperson Ms Esther Massundah said this development has also seen the organisation increasing mobile clinics to achieve set targets.
“On 1 July 2018, Government announced the free blood initiative for all Government institutions,” she said. “The coming in of this initiative saw an increase in demand for blood. This has necessitated NBSZ to add additional mobile teams in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare to meet the increased demand.”
Ms Massundah said during the last quarter of the year, which also coincides with the festive season, NBSZ will be launching the festive season campaign earlier to ensure enough collections for the blood bank. Furthermore, Ms Massundah said the campaign will target collections from both youths and adults unlike previous campaigns which focused more on youths.
“The campaign activation for the festive season would be November 1, 2018, where a series of blood drives and activities are planned to ensure there is enough blood for the long holiday. December 1 will also see activation of youth donor month,” said Ms Massundah.
She said the target for collections during the festive season would be advised later.
The festive season is normally associated with high demand of blood due to road carnage in addition to the usual uses of blood.
Government recently scrapped the price of blood for patients accessing treatment from public health institutions in a phased manner.
The initiative started at the beginning of the year, when prices were slashed from $80, $50 and to no cost.