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Covid-19 Affects Blood Donation

By Salome Gangire, MANA

Malawi Blood Transfusion (MBTS) says indefinite closure of schools in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic has reduced blood donation by 50 percent as schools are a major source of blood donation.

MBTS senior public relations officer for Mzuzu Centre, Mphatso Bazale said in an interview that so far MBTS Mzuzu Centre blood levels are lower compared to the same time last year.

Bazale said: “Since schools are our major source of blood through blood donors, the amount of blood which we are collecting from individuals who are visiting our offices (static blood donation clinics) is lower compared to the demand in the hospitals.”

He said people should remember that despite this global pandemic of Covid-19, all hospitals in the country still have the demand of blood for patients involved in road accidents, children suffering from malaria and pregnant women who lose a lot of blood during delivery.

He appealed to Malawians of good will, who are not feeling sick, to visit MBTS offices for blood donation and save a life.

He said MBTS as an institution mandated to collect, test, process and distribute blood and blood products to government authorized hospitals  for patients in need  are following all hygiene protocols at MBTS offices for any visitor, as well all staff as preventive measure against COVID-19.

Bazale said so far MBTS is calling for individual blood donors through phone, official MBTS Facebook page, MBTS Twitter handle to come and donate blood at its static clinics.

“MBTS is also calling for existing blood donors in selected communities to come and donate blood at a specified venue on particular days.

Currently we accept less than 50 blood donors spread throughout the time of the day coming to donate blood just to comply with the government’s directive,” he said.

As part of preventative efforts against Covid-19, government has banned gatherings of more than 100 people, closed schools, colleges, universities and community colleges.

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