MASVINGO - Residents of Masvingo recently joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Blood Donor Day, an annual event which is aimed at celebrating the lives of blood donors and encourage other people to donate the precious liquid.
The global event is a brainchild of the World Health Organisation and was this year held under the theme 'Blood connects us all'.
The local commemorations were held at the National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) centre with several prolific donors receiving awards in recognitions of their contribution to the national blood banks.
In a speech read on his behalf, Health and Child Care minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa said his ministry was working to make blood more affordable to ordinary people.
"Through the National Aids Council, we injected $700 000 into NBSZ in 2015 and for 2016, NAC pledged $403 000. I am pleased to inform you that NBSZ has managed to reduce the cost of a unit of blood from $135,00 to $120,00 and from $161,00 to $140,00 for all private hospitals with effect from 1 June," said Dr Parirenyatwa.
Provincial Education Director, Zedius Chitiga, who was the guest of honour, said the education ministry will continue to give the NBSZ access to school-based donors.
"I urge all heads of schools and staff to support blood donation programmes so that blood requirements for health institutions are met," said Chitiga.
Statistics show that school-based donors form a very critical base of all blood donations in the country.
During the commemorations, guests were taken on a familiarisation tour of different departments of the NBSZ branch, with people expressing satisfaction at the quality of services.
"We would like to recognise the contribution of our regular donors who continue to support us. We also encourage new donors to come and do their part in saving lives by donating blood," said NBSZ Public Relations Officer, Michael Chakoma.news