Zimbabwe calls for blood group O donors to help tackle the extreme shortage


As Zimbabwe is reportedly experiencing a critical shortage of blood group O in stocks, the NBSZ has called upon the group donors to help out calm the situation worries.

The National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has raised a red flag over a critical shortage of stocks for blood group O with less than a day’s supply at any given time, yet it appears the most asked for by the hospitals as it is needed by a large number of people.

While addressing a group of journalists in Harare, Zimbabwe, Lucy Marowa, the NBSZ chief executive officer revealed saying that while stocks for the other groups (A, AB and B) were adequate, blood type O had very limited supplies.

‘Around 50% of the population is blood type O. So this naturally puts a strain on the supplies. The situation is quite critical,’ Lucy Marowa informed.

She added that amongst the requests made by the hospitals for blood, the proportion at times includes 100% blood group O only.

At this point, Ms Marowa appealed to blood group O donors to donate so that NBSZ replenishes the stocks.

‘This accelerates depletion in the blood group O stocks. We are appealing to blood group O donors who are due to come through and donate so that we replenish the stocks,’ she added.

The NBSZ also acknowledged the subsidy from the Health ministry of $4.7 million, which has resulted in the reduction of the user fee downing to $50 with effect from January 1 this year.

However, for the private sector it remains high at $120 per unit of blood.

The cost of blood remains high in Zimbabwe with stakeholders calling for further variation downwards, reported a local newspaper.

‘The aim is to get as close as we can to the $10 figure which the minister suggested last year,’ she further said.

However, with the coming-down of the user fees, it is anticipated that there will be higher demand for blood supplies.

‘We therefore anticipate an increase in demand and so there is need for us to scale up our collections.’








Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu

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