By Joseph Story
Balaka, Mana: Balaka Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS) has stepped up efforts to increase blood collection in the eastern region districts of Balaka, Mangochi, Ntcheu, and Machinga.
In an interview Head of MBTS in Balaka, Edith Chimphamba on Tuesday, said so far, they have increased blood collection by 67 percent in nine months of 2021-2022 from 59 percent, the department collected in 2020-2021.
She said, there was a drop in blood collection in 2020-2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions which among others led to closure of schools and reduction of public gatherings.
Chimphamba added most of the times 90 percentage of blood donors are secondary and tertiary schools students as such to avoid recurrence of 2020-2021 situation the service is using other options in collecting blood.
She said, “We now go in communities, townships and wherever motivating new breed and already existed ones to donate blood and save lives.
“We link up with other stakeholders such as District hospital officers, Malawi Red Cross Society and chiefs to give us entry points and assist in the interventions. We expect to reach out the target this year through tirelessly engaging the communities up until we fulfill our dream of blood availability in all hospitals,” the Head added.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Balaka District Hospital, Mercy Nyirenda commended MBTS for the drive that has seen availability of blood in the establishment this year unlike in the past where the hospital was experiencing intermittent supply of blood.
“We are along the M1 road as such we receive so many victims of road traffic accidents who most of the times require blood infusion, in this case having increase levels of blood is a blessing to the hospital and those we serve,” she said.
Balaka MBTS has sourced 8,078 units of blood from July 2021 to March,2022 with a target of 3,922 to be fulfilled in the remaining three months from 7138 which was collected in 2020-2021.
Balaka MBTS depot serves four districts of Balaka, Ntcheu, Machinga and Mangochi with 10 hospitals.