By Moshi Shabani
Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) marked a World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) by conducted a voluntary blood donation campaign.
The hospital encourages everyone who is able to give blood to donate in order to save lives of people since most surgical procedures require blood transfusions.
Speaking at the voluntary blood donation campaign today, MNH’s Director of Clinical Support Services Dr. Praxeda Ogweyo said the hospital needs an average of 100 to 120 units of blood per day, but manages to collect an average of about 50 to 60 bottles only per day.
“There is higher deficit of blood units at the hospital, we are currently using about 60 to 70 units per day,” she said.
She added: "I would like to emphasize that the blood donation campaign is not only vital, but should also be sustainable if we are to save lives.”
You never know whose life you can save by giving him a blood, so the blood you are donating today is important for healthy and reliable blood supply, she observed.
Ilala District commissioner Sophia Mjema reminds citizens on the importance of blood donation to women and children, and asked them to think of saving other people’s lives by voluntarily donate blood whenever requested.
" I congratulated all of you for your kind hearts and spirit to help others as you have seen here, there higher demand of blood to people in need. This is crucial thing that will continue living in your hearts," Said Mjema.
World Health Organization (WHO) is calling upon every individual to always be prepared for the next unforeseen emergency by giving blood.
On this year’s WBDD, under the theme, “Give Blood, Give now, Give often,’’ the WHO draws experience from the earthquake disaster that occurred in Nepal.
In Tanzania, the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) needs to collect 450,000 units of blood to meet the annual demands in for the country but over the years; it has been collecting only 40 per cent of the requirements.
In the days following the earthquake, hundreds of volunteers came forward to donate blood in Nepal. More than 600 units of blood were collected over the first three days, helping the blood service to provide an adequate, safe and timely supply of blood and blood products to almost all earthquake victims. In the end, there were more donors than were expected.
Crucially, Nepal already had a substantial supply of blood when the earthquake struck, thanks to years of work to build a culture of voluntary blood donation.
It’s here that the WHO wants people to develop the culture of donating blood in all countries across the world, instead of waiting for an emergency to happen.
About 57 countries around the world collect 100 per cent of their blood supply from voluntary, unpaid blood donors, WHO say. The agency estimates that blood donation by at least 1 per cent of the population can meet a nation’s most basic blood requirements.
On Monday, the Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ummy Mwalimu insisted that blood should not be for sale.
“Patients who are in need of blood transfusion aren’t supposed to pay for blood anyone, who will be forced to purchase blood should report the matter to the authorities,” said the minister during a blood donation event in Dar es Salaam on Monday.