Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: MVA Fund Staff Help Save Lives

This week, employees of the MVA Fund took it upon themselves to answer the call of the Namibian Blood Transfusion Services (NAMBTS), to meet the country's blood shortage and contribute towards saving the lives of those in dire need of blood, some of whom sustained serious injuries in road crashes during the festive season.

The blood donation intervention was held at the institution's Head Office on Tuesday, 22 January. A total of eight employees donated 4050ml of blood.

Catherine Shipushu, Manager: Corporate Communications at the Fund said, as a responsible corporate citizen, the Fund consciously gets involved in initiatives that respond to the country's needs, be they social and developmental.

"The Fund further appreciates the critical intervention of blood transfusion in emergency situations such as serious road crashes," she said.

With over 360 people sustained injuries in road crashes during the just ended festive season, Shipushu said it is to be expected that hospitals will be in dire need of blood. The blood donation drive by the MVA Fund is therefore an extension of the institution's value of care, which in this case is giving the gift of life, as one donation can save up to three lives.

According to the Namibia Blood Transfusion Services (NAMBTS), approximately 90 units of blood are needed on a daily basis in order to meet demand. Of those 90 units, at least 55 must be 0 blood group. NAMBTS works according to a 9 day blood supply in order to have sufficient stock for when more or less blood is needed. One day of collecting less blood than the required 90 units effects the entire cycle.

"Currently there are less than 12,000 active blood donors in Namibia, 0.6% of the population. The average blood donor gives blood once or twice in a year, although one can give blood four- six times annually. Therefore, more regular blood donations and more donors are required," says Leandi Sadie, Consultant: Donor Recruitment and Public Relations at the NAMBTS.

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