The Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) on Tuesday appealed for more blood donors to enable it to meet the annual blood requirement of 80 000 units.
Speaking in an interview after a motivational talk at the Nation Publications Limited (NPL) headquarters the organisation’s public relations assistant Felton Ziyaya said MBTS currently gets around 50 000 units annually.
He said most of the blood donors are students from secondary schools and MBTS struggles to meet the required demand when the students are on holiday.
Said Ziyaya: “We find it difficult to supply blood to the hospitals when schools are closed because most of our donors are students from secondary schools. We do collect blood from offices and other places, but it cannot be compared to what we collect from the schools.”
He added that the donated blood is not supposed to be sold; however, he said private hospitals charge a fee on the blood they give to patients, despite getting it for free to meet transportation and storage costs.
Ziyaya added that people should not get discouraged by stories they hear about donating blood, saying they are just myths.
“We have nurses that guide the people who donate blood. The nurses give necessary instructions regarding what to do and what not to do after donating blood. And before donating blood, everyone is tested on whether they can donate the blood or not,” he said.