Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) has said its staff failed to travel to Rumphi District Hospital to collect blood from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters because there was no vehicle to take them there.
According to MBTS senior public relations assistant Mphatso Bazale, all vehicles went to Paramount Chief M’mbelwa’s area, south west of Mzimba, where they were collecting blood.
The organisation has come under fire after officials at the hospital rebuffed MCP supporters interested to donate blood.
MCP regional chairperson Kezzie Msukwa, who led the group, expressed shock at the absence of MBTS officials when they arrived in Rumphi.
This was the second time the largest opposition party had been prevented from donating blood.
“Two weeks ago, we heard that the district recorded five maternal deaths partly due to lack of blood. Chiefs wrote us and we mobilised our supporters to help,” he said.
Msukwa claimed that the hospital officials had orders from ‘above’ not to welcome the MCP delegation.
But the MBTS spokesperson said they got communication late and will make fresh arrangement with the party.
“We need blood to save lives, so there is no need for us to refuse any offer. Had we received communication in good time, we would have shifted the event to Wednesday because we were engaged,” said Bazale in interview yesterday.
A study conducted by MBTS last year revealed that the country’s hospitals require about 120 000 units of blood per year, but the organisation only collected about 60 000 units in the previous financial year. n