By Farai Dauramanzi
The National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) launched the festive season blood donation campaign on Tuesday 2 December 2014 in Harare. NBSZ targets to collect 9135 units of blood throughout the festive season.
The campaign is an annual program that was started in 2011 by the NBSZ and the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) with the aim of increasing the country’s blood stocks especially during the festive season when there is reportedly a high demand due to traffic accident fatalities. The theme for this year is Accidents and emergencies do not take holidays, donate blood.
The festive season blood donation campaign launch also coincided with the 20th Anniversary celebrations of the Pledge 25 Club Zimbabwe a youth organisation that was formed in 1994 to encourage youths to donate blood for 25 times before reaching the age of 30. The theme of the celebrations was Two decades of saving lives, Zvichingofaya, Ziyakhipa.
While speaking at the event, public affairs officer for the NBSZ Esther Massundah said that the Pledge 25 Club Zimbabwe was an important stakeholder as they donated 13% of the total annual blood donations.
“From 5 to 6 December 2014, a special event termed youths donors day will be held at all NBSZ centres targeting youths who did not manage to donate blood during their exam period. .. Target is to collect 4185 units throughout the campaign period. Pledge 25 Club has over 34 sub-centres throughout the country,” said Massundah.
Massundah said they were also running a walk in campaign which will see clinics being opened for walk in donors to donate blood at their convenient times. NBSZ is targeting to collect 4930 units of blood through this campaign, “However, should demand increase or decrease, the target will be adjusted accordingly.”
Misheck Mbabvu a perennial blood donor who has made 110 donations said that people should donate blood as it is a critical resource and explained that people require blood for various emergencies.
“If you are not a blood donor just think twice and become a donor because a lot of accidents are happening and many people are dying. We have already started to hear of bus accidents that are claiming many lives,” said Mbabvu.
Another blood donor who also gave a testimony at the ceremony Abiot Moyo encouraged people to donate blood saying that not only road accident victims require blood but, said that people are also involved in accidents even at home that might require blood.
“People get injured in playgrounds, at home, in bars and they might require blood. People will be drinking this festive season and some will become violent after they get drunk and end up getting injuries that might end up requiring more blood,” said Moyo.
NBSZ’s partners on the campaign also include the Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives, Netone, Doves, Health Journalists Association of Zimbabwe, Visibly Hurt, Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe and other organisations.
The event also saw the NBSZ national brand ambassador jazz musician Bob ‘Headmaster’ Nyabinde getting a certificate of appreciation for his voluntary work with the organisation.