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Blood bank runs dry

LBTS Manager 'Maleqhoa Nyopa

April 5, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

ALTHOUGH blood demand is low this Easter, the blood bank is currently running dry, the Manager of the Lesotho Blood Transfusion Service (LBTS) 'Maleqhoa Nyopa has said.

Most of the regular donors, she said were unable to donate blood because they had recently been vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic, hence they have to wait for a month before donating again. 
Mrs Nyopa said this contributed to the prevailing shortage in the blood bank as most people are no longer eager to donate blood but only prefer to donate when their relatives are ill and are in need of blood.
She said some members of the public who were in need of blood during the Easter break made orders through the phone and when they were told that there was no blood, they did not go to blood centres to donate.

She noted that regular donors who did not receive the COVID-19 vaccine are the ones who donated blood, urging other members of the public who have not been vaccinated yet to come forward and donate blood to save lives.
Mrs Nyopa was quick to add that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the blood bank as the country had to shut down schools.

“We used to collect blood from students at tertiary institutions, at churches and offices,” she also said.

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She said since the closing down of Queen II hospital, regular donors find it difficult to go to the Botšabelo blood centre to donate as the facility is not readily accessible.

At least 2 500 people are said to be regular blood donors in the country as they donate blood two to three times a year with 20 hospitals in Lesotho relying on the LBTS for blood supply.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of every country’s national health care policy and infrastructure.
LBTS is a department within the Ministry of Health which collects blood from non-remunerated blood donors. It supplies various government and private hospitals including clinics to save lives. LeNA

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