The Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) has again failed to meet its target during this years’ blood donation awareness week, having collected just 7200 units of blood out of the required 10000 units.
Speaking in an interview on Friday, MBTS’ Public Relations Officer Allen Kaombe attributed the failure to lack of commitment by the general public.
“It is something which we cannot explain, some people don’t feel the need to donate blood, some are afraid of the needle while some hide behind culture and tradition,” bemoaned Kaombe.
However, Kaombe said the situation is improving.
“For example in 2013 we were at 5,600 units, last year we managed to collect 6700 units and we are hopeful that someday we will make it,” he added.
Kaombe called on the media and other stakeholders to help in sensitising the general public on the importance of voluntary blood donation.
MBTS carries blood donation awareness week every year from late November to early December to increase blood stock levels for the month of December and January when the country requires an extra quantity of blood due to high incidences of malaria induced anemia and road accidents.
This year’s awareness week which run from November 30 to December 5 was conducted with financial support from the Centre for disease Control and Prevention, under the theme Blood Shortage. Let’s stop it!
MBTS supplies blood to a total of 87 central and District Hospitals, Rural Health centers, CHAM and Private hospitals that are authorized to carry out blood transfusion across the country.
Malawi requires a total of 80000 units of blood each year.