The Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia (NamBTS) is facing a severe shortage of blood to supply all hospitals countrywide for emergency services because of the current Covid-19 restrictions.
NamBTS spokesperson Titus Shivute says they need to collect over 150 units of blood daily to meet hospitals and medical centres' demand countrywide, but they are only managing 100 units on most days.
"Educational institutions contribute over 30% of total blood collections annually and the fact that we have been unable to host blood donation sessions at most institutions since March last year has negatively affected our blood stock," Shivute said.
He added that, "We had initially planned to host blood donation sessions when schools reopen to help rebuild our blood supply [stock]. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel sessions that were planned at schools for the month of January due to the postponement of the reopening of schools."
The shortage this month is also worsened by low blood donation during the festive season due to the many public holidays, Shivute said.
"We would further like to remind the public that Covid-19 cannot be transmitted through a blood transfusion or donation procedure. NamBTS has taken all applicable precautions to ensure your safety during the donation process," Shivute said.
He thanked all committed blood donors, who continue to donate blood. "Continue to do your part and commit to donating blood at least four times in 2021," Shivute urged donors.
He added that NamBTS has since put measures in place to remedy the situation, such as opening a new blood donation centre at Ondangwa in June last year to encourage more donors. NamBTS also extended working hours at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay branches to give donors more time to come in and donate blood.