COVID 19 affects bloodbanks

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COVID-19 bacteria

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
COVID-19 lockdown measures have affected the country’s blood banks, especially after schools were closed in April, the National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) revealed yesterday.

Speaking at a handover ceremony at the Old Mutual head office in Harare where the company donated US$15 000 to NBSZ, Rodgers Matsikidze, the NBSZ board chairperson said the money will go towards acquisition of a low cost solar energy system for the blood bank, which is critical for a reliable cold chain.

“The blood bank has been facing a crisis of unstable electricity supplies, which support the cold chain meant to ensure blood supplies to hospitals and health institutions in Zimbabwe,” Matsikidze said.

“The COVID-19 measures affected blood supplies,” he said.

Old Mutual Zimbabwe group chief operations officer Isiah Mashinya said: “Donating blood is key in saving lives in our communities.  Blood cannot be manufactured; and hospitals and health facilities rely on everyday people like us to provide blood for critical medical procedures.”

 He encouraged young people to donate blood in their large numbers to boost the dwindling blood stocks in the country.