National

Donating blood during a pandemic is crucial.



Windhoek, July 7-Between April and May, the Namibia Blood Transfusion Services (NAMBTS), experienced critical shortages of blood during the first phase of the lockdown due to the cancellation of numerous blood donation clinics.
To support NAMBTS, Bank Windhoek hosted two blood donation clinics in Windhoek, on Wednesday, 13 and Friday, 15 May 2020: one at the Bank’s Property Finance Branch, and the other, at its Main Branch. In total, forty-two staff members donated blood, potentially saving 126 lives in the country’s hospitals. “The Bank’s support made a huge impact in helping NAMBTS rebuild a sufficient blood supply. We are immensely grateful,” said NAMBTS’ Educational Officer, Titus Shivute.


“As the world continues to fight COVID-19, blood is still needed more than ever before to help fight the pandemic and help save those in need of it,” said Bank Windhoek’s Administrator of Benefits and Services, Joanne Sitler. Bank Windhoek’s Procurement Manager, Janetta Feris, who has been a blood donor for the past ten years, said: “I was once in a situation where I needed blood, so I understand the importance of the exercise. I am contributing to saving someone’s life.”
NAMBTS requires over 150 blood donations per weekday to meet the country’s demand from hospitals and medical centres.


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous patients require blood transfusions. These patients include mothers who bleed excessively during childbirth, anaemic patients, those with bleeding disorders, and patients who have undergone various surgeries.
Is it safe to donate blood during COVID-19?
Shivute emphasised that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through a blood transfusion as respiratory viruses are generally not known to be carried by donations or transfusions. He also assured potential blood donors that safety measures are in place, including social distancing, and hygiene procedures. “We have taken the advice of the Ministry of Health and Social Services as well as the World Health Organization in adjusting the nature of our operations to meet their recommendations, thus making it safe to donate blood during this period,” he said.


The next blood donation clinics at Bank Windhoek’s Property Finance and its Main Branch will take place on Wednesday, 8 July, and Thursday, 9 July 2020, in Windhoek. “Those interested in becoming a blood donor should be older than 16 years, weigh more than 50kg, lead a sexually safe lifestyle, and enjoy generally good health,” Shivute concluded. For more information, contact NAMBTS at Tel: 061 386 300.

NDN Reporter