Malawi: Ministry of Health Calls for More Blood Donation

Lilongwe — Chief of Health Services for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Charles Mwansambo said their ministry needs more blood donations to reduce shortage of blood in hospital to save lives of people.

Mwansambo made the remarks, recently during the commemoration of world blood donor day which was held under the theme 'Safe blood for all' at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe.

He said that this year's event was focusing on raising awareness of the role of safe, timely accessible blood and blood products in helping people in need of blood transfusions in the hospitals.

"Last year, we collected 63,000 units of blood out of 120,000 units per year to assist patients in various hospitals in the country," Mwansambo said.

He said though Malawi population is more than 17.5 million, a few people participate in blood donation, hence appealed to the public to take part in blood donation asking the media to further disseminate the information.

"If there are many blood donors in the country it would not be necessary for blood donor to donate blood for more than once in every three months because other people are donating more than 40 times per year," he added.

In a separate interview, a Trustee for the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS), Lewis Msasa requested traditional, religious, and political leaders among others to encourage their subjects to support them.

He said of the 100 percent of blood received, 80 percent is from young people between the ages of 16 to 25, but the recommended ages are from 16 to 65 years.

Contrary to the appeal, a member of Jehovah's Witness (JW) Church, Alinafe Malingachadza from Blantyre said their church doctrines do not allow them to donate blood.

"Our doctrines demand us not to receive or donate our blood to people even eating the blood from any animal because our doctrines tell us that blood is life for any animal," he said.

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