By Moses Masiye
March 14, 2015
Former Malawi first lady Shanil Dzimbiri has pledged support to motivate her constituents in donating blood.
Dzimbiri also member of parliament for Balaka west, expressed satisfaction with the initiative of having blood banks at Balaka district hospital, saying this has assisted to save more lives that could have been lost due to lack of blood.
“We have previously lost many relatives due to shortage of blood at the district hospital, but now this is becoming history,” said Dzimbiri.
A blood donor herself, Dzimbiri said as she is due to donate blood for the eleventh time this month end, she has resolved to be donating at the community so as to encourage others who have negative perceptions over blood donation.
Balaka district hospital transfusion committee chairperson Willy Kwenda said things have improved since Evidence for action under Parent and child health initiative (PACHI) introduced the blood bank initiative.
Kwenda said the medical personnel used to have difficulties to instantly find blood donors whenever patients required transfusion.
He said “We are mostly having adequate blood n stock and it is rare now to lose patient due to lack of blood.”
Currently targeting traditional authorities Nkaya and Nsamala, Balaka E4A team says plans are in the pipeline to scale out to all areas in the district.
“If blood availability at the hospital has already improved with only two traditional authorities, we are optimistic that it would be adequate if all the traditional authorities are involved in this community blood bank initiative,” said Duncan Mapwesera, Balaka E4A team member representing the civil society.
One other outstanding community is that of group village headman Khoswe, where the group village headman himself has taken the leading role to mobilize his subject to donate blood and clear all misconceptions surrounding blood collection.
The community blood collection initiative in Balaka has been successful due to joint efforts by Hospital blood transfusion committee, Malawi blood transfusion service- MBTS and Evidence for Action- E4A, among others.
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