Critical shortage of blood – Namibians called upon to become donors

The Namibian Blood Transfusion Services (NAMBTS) is calling upon Namibians to come out in numbers to donate blood, as the country is facing a severe shortage. NAMBTS says the critical shortage of blood can mainly be laid at the doorstep of Covid-19, as during the lockdowns and restrictions, blood collections countrywide were severely influenced.

NAMBTS issued the following statement: “The blood donation ecosystem has been affected by COVID-19. Blood collections have dropped significantly, with NAMBTS currently only having three days of bloodstock throughout the whole country. With December fast approaching and blood levels being low, it is a crucial time for the service to collect enough blood to be able to meet demand.
“The December period leading into January is always a difficult time to collect blood as donors are busy preparing for holidays and then start traveling. This year has presented even more challenges as that there is a significant decline in blood collections even before the holidays have commenced. Blood stock levels are already low leading into this crucial time of the year when we synonymously experience blood shortages and trauma incidents rise across the country”, said Zita Tobin, Manager: Donor Recruitment and PR for NamBTS. “Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a substantial drop in donations, educational institutions play a critical role in ensuring that we have healthy blood supply levels, and since March this year collecting donations from the educational sector has not been possible”, said Zita Tobin.

If you are well and able to spare thirty minutes of your time, regular and new blood donors between the ages of 16-65-years-old can donate at any of the fixed site centres in Windhoek, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Ondangwa, or Oshakati. NAMBTS has also scheduled numerous blood donation clinics in various towns throughout the festive season in a bid to avail the opportunity for Namibians countrywide to donate blood and help save lives.
A reminder that the Corona Virus (COVID-19) cannot be transmitted through a blood transfusion as respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by donation or transfusion. We have taken the advice of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) in adjusting the nature of our operations to meet their recommendations, thus making it safe to donate blood during this period”.
See Namib Times Facebook for the collection points, dates and times if you want to become a blood donor.

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