Tanzania’s Zanzibar authorities on Tuesday urged people to donate blood to save the lives of patients as it marked the World Blood Donor Day.
“The Zanzibar archipelago is facing shortage of blood in its health facilities,” said the Zanzibar’s Minister for Health, Nassor Ahmed Mazrui.
Mazrui urged people in good health and aged between 18 and 65 to go for voluntary blood donation to save patients, including victims of accidents, children with health complications requiring blood, and mothers going through complicated deliveries and hemorrhaging.
He also urged the media to help in mobilizing people to donate blood saying Zanzibar’s blood reserves were below recommended levels.
Salama Rashid Abdulla, Zanzibar’s manager for safe blood transfusion, said on average 14,000 units of blood are collected in Zanzibar annually against the required demand of 16,000 units of blood annually.
In marking the World Blood Donor Day, Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Africa, said in a statement that the WHO joined the call for more people to become regular blood donors.
“Donating just one unit of blood can save the lives of up to three patients,” Moeti said and urged African governments and political leaders to prioritize the provision of adequate human and financial resources to secure the future of national blood transfusion services.
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Moeti, voluntary unpaid blood donations dropped significantly.
She thanked Africa’s blood donors for their selfless contribution to national health systems, through this life-saving gift to patients who need transfusion therapy.
This year’s theme for World Blood Donor Day is: Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Enditem