Blood demand in Zimbabwe - National Blood Services Zimbabwe has expressed concern over increased demand of blood group O by health institutions saying it negatively affects stocks of the blood group. NBSZ spokesperson Ms Easter Massundah appealed to hospitals to order the blood group of patients rather than just ordering blood group O only.
Blood group O is universal and can be transfused to anyone.
'One of the challenges we face is that hospitals are just ordering blood group O instead of ordering the different blood groups which affects the stock of blood group O,' said Ms Massundah.
Blood types such as O remained in high demand especially by central hospitals and NBSZ had mechanisms in place to supply blood when an emergency arised.
Hospitals contacted, however, refuted claims that they were prioritising blood group O when ordering blood.
Harare Central Hospital's clinical director, Mr George Vera, said a process of cross matching is done to determine the type of blood one needs before making a request.
He said supplies of group O+ was erratic during the festive season even in private institutions.
'Supplies of blood group O+ were like gold during the festive season and the situation seemed to remain unchanged maybe until after school openings,' said Mr Vera.
Chitungwiza Central Hospital acting clinical director Dr Farai Chitiyo said his institution had been ordering different blood groups without necessarily prioritising group O.
NBSZ said it collected over 4 300 units in December alone.
Ms Massundah said there were still campaigns lined up for early January including collections in communities.
The community blood collections started on December 31 and will run up to today (January 13) from which, mobile teams in Harare would be collecting blood from Mabvuku, Tafara, Warren Park, Kuwadzana, Budiriro, Highfield, Mbare, Glen View, Chitungwiza and Mufakose.
She said the national blood bank currently had a week's supply - which was the ideal.
By Paidamoyo Chipunza