By Paul Shalala
|Dr. Joseph Mulenga (right)|
The Zambia National Blood Transmission Service (ZNBTS) says it needs 150, 000 units of blood per year to sufficiently cater for Zambia’s growing blood needs.
ZNBTS Director Dr. Joseph Mulenga says the country only manages to donate 100, 000 units of blood with a deficit of f50, 000 units.
Dr Mulenga says there is need for more Zambians to come forward and donate blood which can save more lives in hospitals.
"Blood saves thousands of people. But we need to donate more so that we can save more women and children who need life," said Dr Mulenga during the rescheduled 2015 World Blood Donor Day which was held in Kitwe today under the theme: Thank You For Saving My Life.
He also dispelled assertions that donated blood is used for satanism.
"Many people accuse us of satanism. They say we collect blood for satanism. Ok here iam, am the chief satanism if you like. But our job is purely to save lives, nothing like satanism," he added, amid laughter from the audience.
And Kitwe District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe says donating blood is a national duty which citizens must be happy of.
|Inside a blood bank|
Mr Kabwe, who officiated at the event held at Lechwe School, says Zambians must take keen interest in blood donation because the activity saves thousands of mothers and children.
"Zambia is a christian nation, we should uphold life. Lets give blood and save more lives. By giving, we are showing love to one another.
Meanwhile, a recipient of donated blood recounted how she almost died due to lack of blood in her body.
"I was in labour and i was at the point of dying. But because of donated blood, my life was saved. So lets keep giving blood," said Sibo Mwala.
A number of committed blood donors were honoured by the ZNBTS during the event.
Prominent among them was Akolwa Lishomwa who holds the record for the highest blood donor on the Copperbelt.
The 23 years old has donated blood 56 times over the past 16 years.
Among pupils, who are the largest donors to Zambia’s Blood Bank, Jane Manjabila of Chifubu Secondary school in Ndola was honoured for the highest blood donor among pupils on the Copperbelt.
Jane has donated 10 times.
The Blood Bank at the Kitwe Central Hospital is the reservoir for donated blood for the whole of the Copperbelt Province.
About 30,000 units of blood are donated by Copperbelt residents making this region the second largest blood donating region in Zambia after Lusaka Province.
Of all the blood donated in Zambia, 40% is used by children under the age of 5, another 40% is used by people with different health complications while the remaining 20% is used by pregnant women.