The Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) says it needs support to raise over K20 million (about $52 000) for an endowment fund to avert a stock-out of critical reagents and blood bags.
The appeal comes against the background of reports that low levels of funding have weakened the ability of MBTS to provide safe and adequate blood in the country.
Speaking at a fundraising cocktail in Blantyre on Thursday, chairperson of MBTS’ Financial Sustainability Taskforce, Saulos Chilima, said it is high time MBTS began sourcing money locally for the cause.
“For how long are we going to depend on donor funding? Time has come for individuals, organisations and the corporate sector to donate,” he said.
Chilima said MBTS needs 80 000 units of blood in a year to meet national demand.
“Last year, the institution collected only 49 000 units. In fact, 67 percent of the demand for blood in Malawi is for children and women in maternity wards. This, therefore, means concerted efforts are needed in blood collection,” he said.
During the event, some companies and individuals pledged and donated towards the fund.
MBTS was established in 2003 by the Ministry of Health in line with international resolutions and local policy framework.