GWERU – The National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) Gweru depot is facing serious blood shortages especially of the blood type O due to increased demand which cannot be matched by current donation levels.
NBSZ planning and recruitment officer, Aggrey Ngazana revealed the organisation's strategic plan involved resolving the shortages which started soon after this year's Heroes holidays.
"During our Heroes holidays, we had enough stocks of blood for all blood groups but soon after the holidays, we experienced a sharp decline in blood Group O stocks.
"Right now, we have enough stocks for blood groups A, B, and AB but the problem is group O which needs to be made available for emergency cases. The shortages were so severe that blood type O was made available to hospitals only when they had patients in need of it," he said.
Gweru NBSZ`s strategic plan involve collecting blood from towns and schools in Gweru including at Midlands State University (MSU).
"We will be doing collections at schools to try and cover up for the shortages because school goers account for 75 percent of our donors.
"We have already scheduled dates for collections and after that, we are going to have a men`s splash at our show grounds offices. It is an event where we will appeal to all our male donors to come and give blood on that day," said Ngazana.
Blood Groop O is the most sought after because it can be used on patients of any other blood group type.
With effect from July 1, 2018 blood became free in all government and mission hospitals following President Emerson Mnangagwa's directive to scrap blood fees from US$120 per pint.local