Shortages Hit Namibian Blood Banks As Coronavirus Bites Harder

Blood banks in Namibia may witness shortages as coronavirus pandemic in the country is affecting collections, an official said on Wednesday.

Namibia has 7,844 confirmed cases and 152 but restrictions have had a major impact on blood collections countrywide, the spokesman of Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NAMBTS), Titus Shivute, said.

He explained that NAMBTS was forced to cancel numerous blood drives around the country which were scheduled to take place prior to the new restrictions coming into effect.

“Our blood reserves have as a result dropped over the past two weeks and we are appealing to all eligible donors to help save the lives of numerous patients around the country by donating blood,” he said.

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According to Shivute, the organisation currently has an eight-day blood supply which means there is currently sufficient blood for eight days if no further collections are attained.

He added that educational institutions contribute close to 30 per cent of blood collections annually, and unfortunately, they have not been able to host clinics at the institutions since March this year.

Shivute said to meet the demand, NAMBTS has embarked on a targeted approach towards regular donors and enhanced their retention efforts since donors are eligible to donate blood every 56 days.

In spite the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are numerous patients who require blood transfusions.

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These patients include mothers who bleed excessively during childbirth, anemic patients, those with bleeding disorders as well as patients who have undergone various surgeries.

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