The Sunday Mail
The Ministry of Health and Child Care has with effect from July 1 , 2018 made blood and blood products free at all public health institutions. The free blood initiative is for the public hospitals only. User fees for private hospitals remain at $120.
This subsidy is, however not applicable to patients on Medical Aid in Government Institutions or private patients in Government Institutions.
The initiative comes in the wake of an address made by the Honourable Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Pagwesese Parirenyatwa, who was represented by the Midlands Province Minister of State, Cde Owen Ncube as the guest of honour at the June 14 World Blood Donor Day commemorations held in Gweru.
The Honourable Minister of Health and Child Care in his speech conferred that the Zimbabwean Government injected a $4, 2 million subsidy into the NBSZ, bringing down the cost user fees of blood to $50 in January 2018.
Furthermore, he conceded that this however, was still pricey for the majority of citizens who are living below the poverty datum line.
Through the Health Financing Strategy launched on the 6th of June at Murewa hospital, health sector domestic funding is expected to improve and accordingly increase access to quality health for all citizens.
“It is against this backdrop ladies and gentlemen, as part of the new national health financing policy and strategy, Government made a decision to inject further funding into the NBSZ to make blood free for all patients in our public hospitals beginning July 1 2018.” Dr Parirenyatwa added.
He however, cautioned that free blood to all public hospitals will increase demand and it is important for NBSZ to come up with various outreach programmes in the communities across Zimbabwe to recruit more blood donors and raise awareness for blood donation so as to match demand.
NBSZ CEO, Ms Lucy Marowa commended this noble gesture by the Government.
She lamented how the issue of cost of blood has always been a contentious issue to both Government and the vulnerable groups in the community who could not access it.
Ms Marowa indicated that NBSZ, through its own resources, could only manage to assist blood donors who qualified as per the set criteria to access free blood and blood products for their beneficiaries.
Through this facility, NBSZ in 2017 assisted blood donors to the tune of $34,448.
Some of these beneficiaries are patients with chronic medical conditions who regularly require products.
Furthermore, as part of NBSZ corporate social responsibility initiatives, NBSZ continues to support the KidzCan programme where it covers half of the cost of the unit of blood that is needed for every cancer patient.
NBSZ is prepared for the free blood initiative and measures to make sure that the blood bank is well stocked are already in progress.
Additional mobile teams to cover a wider geographical area have been activated.
Plans are also already in place to hold holiday blood drives targeting both adults and youths, in the future increase blood collection sites, increase radius distance for blood collections and intensify awareness campaigns targeting the general public.
For the nation to remain adequately stocked, NBSZ solely relies on people like you to give blood.
The Government has done its part and the responsibility is now with us as the citizens.
To those whose who are fit and healthy, please visit any of our clinics near you and give blood.
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] or like our page on Facebook:- @NBSZ bloodbank or follow us on Twitter: – @NBSZbloodbank WhatsApp 0777748841