Zimbabwe activates the World Blood Donor Day Campaign

Esther Massundah
EVERY year on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood.

At the 58th World Health Assembly meeting, member states agreed to the establishment of an annual World Blood Donor Day to be celebrated on 14 June each year. Zimbabwe, through the NBSZ, activated the World Blood Donor Day campaign at a Press conference that was sponsored by the Nyaradzo Group.

Long-time sponsors Net One, who have consistently sponsored this event since 2006 and in their 11th year running is the major sponsor of the Zimbabwe campaign which is running under the global theme “Blood donation in Emergencies” and slogan “Give blood. Give now. Give often”.

The lives and health of millions of people are affected by emergencies every year. According to the WHO, in the last decade, disasters have caused more than one million deaths, with more than 250 million people being affected by emergencies every year.

In any crisis or emergency situation, the natural human response is “What can I do? How can I help?” The objectives of the campaign are to encourage all people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health services in their community by donating blood, encourage authorities in the establishment of effective national blood programmes with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood during emergencies and to celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood regularly and to encourage young people to become new donors as well.

In his remarks at the Press conference, WHO director (Health Systems and Strengthening Policies), Dr Stanley Midzi, highlighted that “blood is vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds (natural disasters, accidents, armed conflicts), and has an essential life-saving role in maternal and perinantal care.

Blood transfusion is an essential component of emergency health care and emergencies increase the demand for blood transfusion and make its delivery challenging and complex,” he said.Ministry of Health and Child Care principal director (curative services), Mr Sydney Makarawo, in his remarks reiterated that “the Zimbabwean Government recognises it obligation to promote the adoption of policies in line with ethical principles of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation”.Mr Makarawo also commended NBSZ for its continuous efforts in running an efficient blood service programme that is emulated regionally and internationally.

NBSZ has set aside the month of June as blood donor month and a series of activities are lined up for the month.

Blood donor, Mr Danny Zinyengere, in his remarks said “as we celebrate World Blood Donor Day we as blood donors have committed to taking ownership of this day and will support the different activities that have been planned by the Blood Service amongst them blood drives which we are appealing to members of the public to be part of.”

On the voluntary service, Mr Zinyengere said, “The feeling that a life has been saved because of the voluntary deed gives satisfaction beyond measure. Activities lined up for blood donor month include a pre-awareness march planned for Friday, where NBSZ staff members, blood donors and partners will march from the Harare branch offices to Joina City, raising awareness about June 14 and distributing flyers about the campaign.

On June 14, all NBSZ branches in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare will open their doors to the pubic from as early as 0800hrs. All branches will host blood drives, a tour of the NBSZ facilities, open day exhibition, and blood grouping. To build hype and excitement there will be a Radio Zimbabwe four-hour live broadcast from the NBSZ Harare branch.

The curtain will come down with the Blood Donor Awards Evening where blood donors who have attained milestone achievements will be given awards for their contribution to saving lives. At the awards evening, corporates who provided support to the NBSZ in 2016 will be given recognition for their support. National Aids Council in 2016 were award the NBSZ Patron’s trophy for their outstanding financial support to the organisation. NAC has been supporting NBSZ since 2010 and to date their contribution has been over $5 million.Social media platforms will continuously provide live updates ad posts to educate the public throughout the month of June.

The curtain to the Zimbabwe campaign will end with a scientific evening hosted by NBSZ at end of June or first week of July. A series of programmes to talk about blood donation issues will be done through Radio Zimbabwe, SFM Radio, PowerFM, Star FM and Zi-FM. Listeners’ competitions will be run through the different radio stations to keep listeners tuned in. Meanwhile, a word from the column sponsors, Joina City: the mall is located at the corner of Jason Moyo Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way in Harare’s CBD. For parents, in the second term Joina City have many retailers offering the necessary essentials. We have Pick N Pay, Bata, Bettaballs, Reliable Dry Cleaners, and Edgars all for your last-minute shopping. Other retail outlets include technology shops, clothing stores for men, women and children, personal care facilities, shoe shops, gift shops, and speciality centres for health and wellbeing, hair products and pharmaceuticals.

Esther Massundah is the NBSZ Public Affairs Manager

  • For your questions and answers, please write or contact; Esther Massundah; Public Affairs Manager on 251851, 251854 / 251855-6, 0772162279, 0772162280, 0772162281, 0772162282, 0772162283, 0772162284, 0772162285 or email [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> or like our page on Facebook:- @NBSZ bloodbank or follow us on Twitter: – @NBSZbloodbank

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