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NBS Scouts Blood Donors In Victoria Falls

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


THE advent of Covid-19 has forced the National Blood Service (NBS) to explore new blood donation communities following the COVID induced closure of schools.

According to the blood collection body, schools contribute more than 80% of the organisation’s blood requirements.

In the wake of dwindling blood stocks as a result of the closure of schools, NBS recently penetrated the resort city of Victoria Falls. Since its inception, the organization has been unable to collect blood from the city due to numerous logistical challenges.

“Since the formation of NBS, we only started collecting blood in Victoria Falls in October last year. We are currently on a blood collection drive again in the city targeting eligible and willing blood donors,” said Ntuthuko Nyathi NBS Southern Region Executive in an interview with Newzimbabwe.com.

Nyathi said last year the NBS collected 156 pints of blood in the resort city while this year they surpassed that figure.

“Last year, we collected above 156 pints of blood but this time we sought to go above that figure. So, we doubled over the target to 300 units of blood. So far collection is going very well, and we have surpassed 290 units and we are still going on. We are going to achieve our target,” Nyathi said.

He said before COVID, Victoria Falls has been shunned because of its long distance.

“People may ask why have we not been collecting blood in Victoria Falls all these years? This was basically to do with distance and the cost benefit analysis of driving long distance as well as related accommodation and food costs.”

“Now with the advent of COVID 19, schools which are our traditional hunting grounds with a contribution of 70 % of blood have been closed because of COVID for a very  long time now, so we had to think outside the box and find ways of opening new collection points,” he said.

Nyathi applauded the Victoria Falls business community for supporting the programme.

“I would like to thank mainly our Chief recruiter, Shannon Ofee who has been mobilizing the business community on our behalf. We have sponsors who are taking care of our staff meals, transport, accommodation as well as providing venues for bleeding. What this gesture means is that our burden has been lessened,” he said.

Nyathi also revealed that the country is currently in short supply of blood group 0 but was however optimistic that the  situation might improve following government’s announcement of schools opening next month.

“Blood is currently in short supply especially blood group 0 which is a universally blood group which can be given to people in emergency situations without first matching. With the announcement of school opening dates, we hope our blood banks which are dire situations will greatly improve,” added Nyathi.

He also appealed to members of the public to continue supporting the organisation by donating blood.