Government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care has availed US$4.2 million to the National Blood Transfusion Services towards subsidizing the price of blood which now costs $50 from the previous price of $80.
In a statement released on Friday last week, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Brigadier General Dr Gerald Gwinji said the government had also set allocated US$8 million towards free access to blood for pregnant women as a way of reducing maternal mortality in the country.
“$4,25 million has been availed through the Health Levy to subsidize the cost of blood which was at $80 to $50 at public institutions,
“US$8 million has also been earmarked from the same fund to make blood available for free to treat maternal related complications so as to reduce maternal mortality by half, from the current 36 percent,
“By maternal related complications we are referring to women who will need blood during pregnancy, miscarriages, during deliveries or after deliveries that is up to 42 days after giving birth, or a miscarriage,” he said.
National Blood Services Zimbabwe, Public Affairs Manager, Esther Massundah acknowledged the subsidy from the health ministry saying it came at the right time as it will assist them with critical items needed.
“The USD$4.2 million came at the right time to assist with critical items needed, donor mobilization and medical services,
“The subsidy will also help us in attaining critical items like blood bags, equipment to draw blood and equipment needed in the labs,
“The budget will also be allocated to people to make sure they are covered and more people will be able to access blood,” said Massundah.
She added that 40% of the blood they get goes towards maternal health saying Ministry of Health and Child Care had done well in making blood free for pregnant women as they need it during or after deliveries.
“Ministry has made blood free for pregnant women, 40% of the blood we draw goes to maternal health,
“We have made sure that blood is accessible to these women and are covered through coupons,” added Massundah.