Share blood, give life

28 June 2018 | Society

Yolanda Nel - With a shortage of blood every year, statistics show that only 1% of Namibians are regular donors.

In 2017, 38 000 units of blood were distributed to 52 hospitals and clinics across the country, helping 42 000 patients.

“More than 2 800 units of bloods are needed every month and we do not have enough donors,” said Dr Britta Lohrke, senior medical officer in the ministry's Blood Transfusion department.

There are only 24 500 donors in Namibia.

Speaking at World Blood Donor Day earlier this month, Lohrke said that with the amount of road accidents, there is a constant need for blood. “Every donor is a hero and they donate without any compensation or expectation,” she said.

Lohrke said that besides blood that is donated for free, the process of acquiring and keeping the blood is expensive. Since the NamBTS is a non-profit organisation which has to sustain itself, purchases from the ministry are necessitated.

She said that the ministry does not have permanent clinics where people can donate blood, thus there is a mobile clinic that collects blood on its behalf. However, this is not enough to supply all state hospitals.

World Blood Donor Day is observed on 14 June every year.

This year the day was commemorated under the theme 'Be there for someone else. Give blood, share life'.

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