Senior official of the safe blood donation programme in southern highland regions, Charton Meena said when speaking at a blood donation event that involved students from Teofilo Kisanji University (TEKU).
According to Meena, Mbeya region faces serious blood shortage compared to other health facilities in the southern highland zone. He said despite efforts by the government and stakeholders, the region had yet managed to collect enough blood to meet the demand in hospitals.
He linked the shortage of blood with lack of public awareness amongst the residents on the importance of donating blood. He said the challenges had led to loss of people’s lives.
“Mbeya region is the centre for safe blood donation, but it is in dire need of blood requiring some 8,000 units to be able to save lives”, said Meena calling upon residents to voluntary donate blood.
He said that the demand for blood in southern highland regions is more than 48,990 units, noting the monthly demand at hospitals stands at 4,082 units.
CCM Youth Wing Chairman, Shija Steven said they are planning to organize blood donation events where youth and the residents will donate blood voluntarily.
Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu said recently that the government has allocated 5bn/- in the fiscal year 2019/20 which will be used to build five small blood donation camps in 12 regions in across the country.
She said the government will use the same occasions to launch brand new ‘full automation’ blood testing machines installed in six zonal camps including Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Tabora, Kilimanjaro, Mtwara and Mbeya.
“We are able and can meet the country blood targets, we just have to work hard and improve public perceptions and attitude towards donating blood,” said the Minister.