The Sunday Mail
THE 2019 belated Zimbabwe World Blood Donor Day commemorations were held on July 6 in Chimanimani at Biriri High School.
This year’s World Blood Donor Day campaign was integrated into the National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) Cyclone Idai CSR project to assist six schools’ blood collection sites which were affected by the devastating cyclone.
The Cyclone Idai CSR project is being done in three phases, with phase two coinciding with the World Blood Donor Day Zimbabwe Commemorations.
The commemorations brought together over 2000 people from the community, partners and sponsors. They converged at Biriri High School for the commemorations and to witness the handover of the NBSZ contributions to the Cyclone Idai affected school blood collection sites.
The school blood collection sites affected are Biriri High, Chimanimani High, Rusitu High, Ndima High, Nyahode High and St Charles Luwanga High.
Phase three handover is earmarked for November 2019.
The guest of honour, Minister of State for Manicaland Province Hon Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba (Senator) was represented at the commemorations by Acting Provincial Development Coordinator (Provincial Administrator) Mr Edgars Seenza.
Also present was the MP for Chimanimani West Constituency, Hon Nokuthula Maisikenyire and MP for Chimanimani Constituency, Hon Esther Chikuni as well as Chief Saurombe, Chief Muusha, among other chiefs.
Manicaland Provincial Medical Director Dr. P. Mafaune, Chimanimani District Medical Officer Dr Choga and other province health personnel representing the Ministry of Health and Child Care were also present.
Deputy Provincial Education Director Mrs Kanoerera, Dr Stanley Midzi, representing the World Health Organisation Country Rep, World Blood Donor Day Event Sponsor NetOne CEO, Mr Lazarus Muchenje, NBSZ Board representative Mr Passmore Nyakureba, Mr Nkulumani Mlambo, NBSZ CEO Ms Lucy Marowa, District Development Coordinator Mr Missi and Rural District Council Chairman Councillor Mujee were also present.
The event was also graced by NBSZ partners and sponsors, amongst them the Econet Group, National Aids Council, Schweppes Zimbabwe, Mutare Bottling, Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives and Diamond FM.
In the remarks of the Ministry of Health and Child Care that were read out by the Manicaland Provincial Medical Director Dr. P Mafaune, Government reiterated its support for the NBSZ to continue with the exemplary implementation of the World Health Assembly Resolution WHA 28:72 which urges all WHO member states to promote and support the establishment of sustainable blood transfusion services, based on the voluntary non-remunerated blood donation programme.
Zimbabwe has through the NBSZ relied on 100 percent voluntary unpaid blood donation since 1954. As part of the evident support by the Government towards the Zimbabwe blood donation programme, the free blood initiative that was introduced in July 2018 for all public health institutions has continued into 2019, financed through the Health Levy.
“The Government is looking for other funding avenues for the free blood initiative so that it is more sustainable,” she said.
In appreciation of the Heath Ministry’s sentiments on this noble initiative, the NBSZ CEO Ms Lucy Marowa acknowledged the tremendous support by the Government towards the free blood and called on the nation of Zimbabwe to support this initiative by donating blood so that no life is lost due to blood shortages.
“The Government has done its part. it is now our responsibility as Zimbabwe citizens to ensure that our blood bank is always adequately stocked,” she acclaimed.
The 2019 blood collection target is 108 400 units, up from 82 257 units of blood collected in 2018.
Speaking during the commemorations, Mr Edgars Seenza, who was representing the guest of honour (the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Manicaland Province, Hon Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba), said previously vulnerable people could not afford the blood as the user fees were beyond their reach of many. Through this intervention, patients can now access the life saving gift of blood when they need it.
World Health Organisation Country Representative Dr Alex Gasasira, who was represented by the Director Health Systems Strengthening and Policies, Dr Stanley Midzi, pledged that the World Health Organisation regional office for Africa will continue to support all appropriate initiatives aimed at ensuring that safe life-saving blood and blood products are available for all, particularly those in emergency situations.
World Blood Donor Day schools programme sponsors Net One unveiled their 2019 support of RTGS$50 000 and a communications package to the tune of $1,721,266 million for all schools that donate blood in Zimbabwe.
NetOne CEO Mr Lazarus Muchenje unveiled the partnership package and handed over a dummy cheque. NetOne has been supporting the schools programme since 2006.
NBSZ handover contributions were mobilised from well-wishers that included corporates, faith based organisations, Embassy of Sweden, Rotary Club of Bulawayo, Rotary Club of Matopos and individuals.
The six schools had varied needs ranging from text books, stationery, ICT equipment, sanitary and water tanks.
The handover was the second phase. During the first phase, blood donors in Mutare mobilized clothing items and handed them over to the Manicaland Provincial leadership.
The third phase is earmarked for November 2019. Speaking during the handover of the cyclone idai contributions, the guest of honour was thankful for the thoughtfulness of Zimbabweans who partnered NBSZ in its Cyclone idai CSR initiative.
She separately acknowledged Econet Holdings for repairing two roads damaged the cyclone. Econet repaired 65kms from Wengezi to Skyline and 67km from Cashel Valley to Chimanimani.
The Econet Group also donated a three in one computer for one of the schools in the NBSZ CSR project. It also gave free awareness SMSs to 513 544 subscribers in Manicaland for the Birii High School event and free data for the live streaming of the event. Econet Group also sent out awareness SMSs to over 3 million subscribers on the 14th of June.
During the commemorations, NBSZ partnering organisations were acknowledged through corporate awards for their efforts in supporting the year 2018 NBSZ activities. These include the National Aids Council, NetOne, Mutare Bottling, Schweppes, Diamond FM. There was a special award for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
Safe blood for all – Be The 1
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