Harare(ZimEye)-At least 75% of the country’s blood comes from school children as adults are reluctant to donate their blood fearing to know their HIV status, National Blood Service Zimbabwe has said.
“We are having a problem with adults when it comes to blood donations, and we depend on school children who make 70% of blood donations .If schools are closed blood levels in the country’s blood bank depletes.
“We are trying to convince them that they should donate blood and if we at least get 50% from them it will help us a lot. The major problem we have discovered from adults is that they are afraid of getting tested for HIV when they come for blood donations. Even if they do not have the virus they are just afraid of knowing their HIV status,” National Blood Service Zimbabwe’s Blood Procurement and Public Relations Manager Emanuel Masvikeni, said in an exclusive interview.
Masvikeni said they had embarked on a massive outreach campaign to educate adults on the importance of donating blood.
“We are very worried by this development because the highest number of people who need and use blood is the adults but their contribution to the national blood bank is very low. So we are going to have a nation wide outreach campaign aimed at educating them so that they appreciate what it means to donate blood,” he added.
Blood transfusion is critically needed in cases where there has been severe blood loss due to road accidents, complicated child births, major surgical operations, cancer treatment, and treatments for diseases that affect the blood.
Usually, at least three pints are needed per session during treatments.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe’s National Statistics Agency has announced it will be asking for blood samples from households as part of this year’s health survey.The samples will be used to work out new HIV prevalence rates, but researchers could meet with some resistance from the public. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)