Responding to an appeal by the Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) for more people to donate blood to help patients in the county’s hospitals, the Lions Club of Blantyre on Saturday conducted a blood donation drive at the Chichiri shopping more where 32 pints of blood were collected.
Speaking in an interview during the event, Lion George Chirombe, vice president of the Lions Club of Blantyre, who is also chairperson of community services in the club said the event was organised to supplement blood stork after being informed that MBTS was experiencing a drop in blood stock during this time when schools are in recess.
“This initiative is part of our service to the people, we believe one or two lives will be saved through us and it is my plea to individuals out there to develop a habit of donating blood, who knows one day they might be the ones in need of blood,” he said.
Commenting after the exercise, Lion Stella Hara expressed satisfaction with the turn up and thanked members of the general public who supported them by joining the noble course.
“We projected to donate up to 40 pints but we managed to get 32, which is not bad. It will surely make a difference,” she said.
Mphatso Sulumba a 10-time blood donor said he donated blood on that day as a special present on his birthday to patients in need of blood in the country’s hospital.
“I am not a member of the club but I am passionate about blood donation especially today being my birthday. When my wife was giving birth, she lost a lot of blood but survived following blood transfusion, this is when I realised the importance of donating blood,” said Sulumba.
MBTS supplies blood to a total of 87 central and district hospitals, rural health centres, Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) and private hospitals authorised to carry out blood transfusion across the country.
Malawi requires a total of 80 000 units of blood every year but according to MBTS’s public relations officer Allen Kaombe, the institution is failing to meet the requirement due to lack of commitment by the general public.
During last year’s blood donation week that took place in December, MBTS only managed to collect 7 200 out of the expected 10 000 units.
This has resulted in MBTS running short of blood stock in its blood banks. MBTS gets most of its blood from schools’ blood donation drives.