11 December 2017

Tanzania: Blood Transfusion Is for Free, Govt Says

Dar es Salaam — The government has said that patients, who need blood transfusion must receive it for free.

Speaking on Monday, December 11, during the award of an accreditation certificate of the second grade to three Tanzania's zones of the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) offered by Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AFSBT), the deputy minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Children and Elders, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, said those selling blood to those in need would be dealt with accordingly.

He noted that the government incurred costs of collecting, safe keeping and ensured the blood collected was safe, insisting that it must be given to patients for free.

He added that the accreditation should be a progressive step towards further growth and should not end after receiving the certificate. He thus called upon the remaining four zones to work hard to receive theirs by next year.

The number of voluntary blood donors, according to NBST, has reached 199,000 and women have the ability to donate blood after every four months, while men can do so after every three months.

"We call upon blood donors to continue donating blood whenever necessary to support a safe blood programme," said Dr Mwanaheri Ahmed, NBTS manager in Zanzibar.

She added that continuous blood donation would support future plans of ensuring that blood was available for patients at all times to reduce the number of deaths caused by a shortage of blood in the bank.

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