THE National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) has collected 106,000 units of blood between October 2011 and September 2012 an equivalent of 76 per cent of its target to collect 140,000 units.
NBTS Manager, Dr Effester Nkya, said in Dar es Salaam, that an average of 400,000 units is needed annually, saying that hospitals in the country still face huge shortages of blood. "About 80 per cent of our blood donors are students from secondary schools and higher learning institutions." he said.
Dr Nkya was briefing reporters on the blood donation exercise to be conducted countrywide today. The exercise is jointly conducted by NBTS and Khoja Shia Ithinasheri Community and the exercise will take place at Tabligh Centre on Zanaki Street in Dar es Salaam on the commemoration of Ashura Day.
He named other regions where the exercise will take place as Morogoro, Arusha, Mtwara, Lindi and Mwanza. Ashura is the day where Muslims remember the barbaric killing of the grandson of the Holy Prophet, Imam Hussein who was killed with 72 family members and companions in the plains of Kerbala in Iraq.
Commenting on the exercise Mr Abbas Fazal, a representative from the Khoja Shia Ithinasheri community said his community has decided to involve its members countrywide to donate blood, saying that for many years the community has worked with NBTS in Dar es Salaam to organise the Annual Ashura Blood Donation Camp on the day of Ashura.
Mr Fazal has called upon the public to join the efforts of his community and NBTS to donate blood in the cities in order to save lives of patients who need blood in order to heal. "We are encouraging other communities to join hands with NBTS to help patients who are suffering due to the lack of blood in hospitals," he said.