Zimbabwe runs out of blood

By Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

FACED with a combination of high demand for blood and fewer donors, the country’s blood bank is running on a single day’s supply as stocks run dry.

Increased demand for blood in the country’s hospitals has led to the depletion of stocks, with the country now running on a single day’s supply instead of five days recommended for a healthy blood bank.

With this obtaining situation, the message from the National Blood Services Zimbabwe is clear.

Menard Mutenherwa, a blood supply executive at the National Blood Services Zimbabwe said: “Currently, we have at most one day’s supply of all blood groups. What it means is that we have low stock levels and we need to boost the stocks. Our appeal to all Zimbabweans is that all those who are eligible should come forward and donate blood so that we have adequate blood stocks at all times.”

While the precious body fluid is now being offered for free in government hospitals the noble initiative might not achieve the intended objective with the blood bank deficient of the Blood Group O.

“Blood Group O in general terms is referred to as the universal donor it is the most common blood group. Its demand is also high in hospitals and it moves fast but the rate at which it is demand is not met equally by the number of donors so the supply is lower than demand.”

Available information reveals that 52% of Zimbabweans are Blood Group O, 26% belong to Group A, 20% Group B while 4% are Group A-B.