Save a life, donate blood

23rd December 2016
Blood bag Source:The Midweek Sun


By Rachel Raditsebe -

BThe National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) has called for more blood donation to meet the anticipated high demand of blood during the festive season when accidents and emergency situations happen more frequently.

“December is usually a difficult time as we are unable to collect the blood needed to treat patients, such as those who are terminally ill, let alone any trauma incidents. If previous years’ blood stock levels over the same period is anything to go by, we know we have some tough times ahead,” said NBTS Chief Register Nurse and Blood Donor Recruit, Annah Mothuti.

NBTS says at least 40 000 units of blood is required for the year but so far only around 24 000 units have been collected. Last year, the NBTS collected a measly 27000 units of blood. “Not only have we not met our target but the current stock levels we have won’t carry us until the end of January,” Mothuti revealed.

The greatest need for blood is by patients who are terminally ill and rely on regular blood transfusions for survival. Blood is also essential for scheduled operations, complications during childbirth and trauma. “We want to encourage the public to find 30 minutes this holiday period to donate blood, because while you are relaxing and enjoying the break, your blood will be out there saving up to three lives,” she said.

Against this background, the NBTS in conjunction with the Ministry of Health has organised various special blood drives over the festive season and into January 2017, to not only increase stock levels to meet the requirements during this festive season but to also raise awareness on the importance of voluntary blood donation.

The sessions will be conducted at NBTS centres in, Francistown and Gaborone; malls in Serowe, Mahalapye, Molepolole and Maun. “The idea is to remain on people’s minds and to be accessible, convenient and visible,” said Mothuti.

She urged everyone to take part in voluntary blood donation either by donating blood or by mobilising others. “It is only possible to meet the demand with the help of regular and committed blood donors,” she said. The blood donation basics require one to be in a healthy condition, aged between 16 to 65 years, weighing at least 50 kilograms and pass some health checks like blood level and blood pressure.

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