Tanzania: In Dire Need of Blood Donation

Opinion

According to Mama Ye’s report, Tanzania’s Blood Services: Factsheet 2017, a campaign intended to making life-saving changes for Tanzania’s mothers and babies, only one third of the blood needed in Tanzania is collected by the Tanzania’s National Blood Transfusion Service.

Adding to the report, Dr Praxeda Ogweyo, the Director of Clinical Services at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) says that the current situation is unsatisfactory and very demanding.

“We collect around 50 to 60 blood units per day while the actual demand is 100 up to 120 blood units,” says Dr Ogweyo. She adds that due to that there is a shortage of around 60 to 70 blood units, something which compromises their ability to give sustainable services to the needy patients.

Tanzania with the rest of the world commemorated World Blood Donor Day last week, to ensure that people donate blood frequently in order to curb the existing shortage.

Upon talking about this year’s theme, ‘Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often’, Dr Ogweyo notes that her hospital has a huge responsibility of making sure that all patients in need of blood are served accordingly, at any given time.

A dire need

Vocal about the lack of blood units in the regions, Ms Sophia Mjema, Ilala’s District Commissioner in an interview with Your Health said, “We have insufficient blood in our blood bank.”

 Ms Mjema paid a visit to various designated centers at Ilala Municipal where people would go and donate blood, that includes, MNH, Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI), Mnazi Mmoja and Karume.

She adds that anyone can need blood due to unprecedented accidents or emergency during delivery.

“For example here at JKCI, children who undergo surgery need an approximate 700 units of blood which is an equivalent of ten blood units for every child,” she explains.

Ms Mjema says that in order to make this year’s theme practical, those people who donated blood for the first time need to be encouraged to keep donating.

Herman Mbiro, 24, a third year student at Muhimbili University of Allied Science (MUHAS) who is one of the blood donors, says that he donated blood knowing that there are people who are in need of it.

“I know that the blood that I will donate here will be used to save the life of another human being who deserve living like we all do,” explains Mbiro.

Dr Ogweyo is calling upon all citizens, government agencies and corporations, civil society and non-government organisations and other privately-owned institutions to come and donate blood so that lives of thousands of Tanzanian children, mothers and victims can be saved.

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