Critical shortage of blood group O

ZIMBABWE is facing a critical shortage of blood group O, with reports the blood bank is left with less than a day’s supply.

The O-type blood is most popular with estimates saying 52 percent of the population belong to that type.

National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) chief executive Ms Lucy Marowa said the blood bank is running with O-type blood stocks that are inadequate for a day at any given time.

“Blood group O is the most common blood type present in 52 percent of local population but we have few people coming forward to voluntarily donate,” said Ms Marowa. The proportion which is being demanded from the hospitals at times include 100 percent requests of O blood type and this accelerates depletion in the O blood type stocks.

Government, through a US$4, 7 million subsidy, reduced the price of a pint of blood from US$80 to US$50 effective January 1, 2018 at all public health institutions.

Health and Child Care ministry’s permanent secretary Major General Dr Gerald Gwinji said they would continue supporting NBSZ to ensure patients access blood. Last year, NBSZ collected 63 029 units of blood against a target of 65 000 units. The blood bank targets 70 000 units this year.

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