Blood Donors’ clubs in offing, says Minister

IN a bid to ensure that no one dies from blood loss, the government will set up Blood Donors Clubs for people with rare blood groups to assist.

The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and Elders, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, made the remark here yesterday, pointing out that such clubs would encourage people with rare blood groups like O-ve, A-ve, B-ve and AB-ve to frequently donate blood.

“This will enable national blood bank to preserve enough safe blood for later use in blood transfusion for people with rare blood types,” stressed again the Minister while briefing reporters on World Blood Donor Day to be marked today.

This year’s annual event, which would be held under the theme ‘Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life’, would be held at the national level in Dodoma Region.

The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and raise awareness for the regular need to donate blood.

Ms Mwalimu hinted that that the government is targeting to collect 375,203 pints of blood before the end of this year, in order attain 60 percent from the current 45 percent of the actual demand, pointing it out as being equivalent to seven pints of blood for every 1,000 people.

“The collection of blood bottles will tremendously help to save lives of mothers and infants,” she added. Ms Mwalimu said Katavi tops the list with 94 percent of the regions targeted to collect the blood pints, followed by Lindi-79 percent and Coast third with 66 percent.

She cited regions with poor performance in blood collections as Songwe (16 percent), Mbeya (20 percent) and Tabora (22 percent).

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), every country should collect at least 10 pints of blood for every 1,000 people (which is equivalent to one person in the country’s population) in order to meet the actual demand. In another development, the Minister has directed Regional Medical Officers to ensure that no health facility sells blood, saying the blood transfusion service is free to the patients.

Author: LUDOVICK KAZOKA in Dodoma

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