Less than one per cent donate blood regularly

14 Jun 2017 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 14 JUN (NAMPA) – Less than one per cent of Namibia’s population donate blood regularly, said Blood Transfusion and Training Senior Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Britta Lohrke on Wednesday.
She was speaking at an event observing World Blood Donor Day that is celebrated on 14 June.
This year’s theme is ‘What can you do?’, with ‘Give blood. Give now. Give often’ as a secondary message.
Lohrke said at least 21 365 Namibians donate blood regularly and while this number is small as a percentage, the nation is fortunate in that majority of those who donate regularly are Type O.
The Type O Blood group is referred to as “emergency blood” as it can be transfused to almost any patient in need of blood in the event of an emergency.
“That (Type O) is what we mostly need in Namibia because most hospitals cannot identify which blood is needed for which patient, so a lot of Type O Blood is used.”
In 2016, the Namibia Blood Transfusion Service issued 30 000 units of red cell concentrate, about 1 800 units of paediatric red cell concentrate, about 5 000 units of plasma and 1 200 units of platelets.
“Patients need this gift of blood and we are thankful to the donors for this important gift,” she noted.
Speaking at the same event, World Health Organisation Representative, Charles Sagoe-Moses said Namibia, like many other countries, faces an ongoing challenge in collecting a sufficient blood supply from safe donors to meet the national requirement.
“The donation of blood by voluntary non-remunerated blood donors is recognised as crucial for the safety and sustainability of national blood supplies,” he said.
Individuals interested in donating blood should be older than 16 years, weigh more than 50 kilogrammes, lead a sexually safe lifestyle and enjoy general good health.