Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has been selected among six other countries in the world to share best practices in ensuring a safer and quality blood transfusion process. The five other countries are Rwanda, Cameroon, Belgium, Netherlands and the United States.
The global commemorations, which will run under the theme “Safe blood for all”, will be held in Rwanda.
Speaking at a media briefing held in Harare on Tuesday ahead of the World Blood Donor Day, which will take place in Africa for the second time on June 14, NBSZ public affairs manager Ms Esther Massundah said Zimbabwe will also be sharing its experiences regarding effective marketing strategies, including digital communications and social marketing in the recruitment of blood donors.
“Zimbabwe has a lot to share in relation to how its blood programme has been running and we also anticipate to learn a lot from this platform, especially now that blood is now available for free, issues of maintaining quality and standards become crucial,” said Ms Massundah.
She said as part of the country’s participation in the global campaign, Zimbabwe will be running a content marketing campaign through various digital platforms and profile some of the planned activities in Rwanda.
“A number of pre-awareness activities have since been lined up, which include NBSZ Red Week campaign scheduled to take place on May 3 Clean-Up Day (May 10), testimonial marketing (May 26), know your blood group campaign and publicity marketing,” said Ms Massundah.
She said Zimbabwe will simultaneously commemorate its National Blood Donor Day on 6 July in Manicaland in solidarity with all blood donors and the people of Manicaland following effects of Cyclone Idai.
Meanwhile, NBSZ says it has enough blood stocks for any emergencies during the long Easter/Independence holiday and has since activated its collection activities to ensure stocks will not run dry.
Long holidays are characterised by road accidents owing to high mobility as people visit various places for festivities.
Ms Massundah said they had an average of a week’s supply in the national blood bank, including supply of Blood Group O, which is usually in short supply.
NBSZ was looking at collecting at least 108 405 units of blood this year, up from a target of 87 000 units last year owing to the increased demand for blood.