COVID-19 pandemic has cut down on blood donation rates in Africa – WHO

COVID-19 pandemic has cut down on blood donation rates in Africa - WHO

World Health Organization (WHO) has observed a decline in the blood donation rates in Africa which they attribute to the Covid-19 lockdown in various countries.

The decrease is largely attributed to the measures that have been put in place to ensure a limit in the rate at which the coronavirus spreads to people such as travel bans and mandatory self quarantine in homes.

Basing on the World Health Organization statistics, annually, about seven million people required blood transfusions in Africa however, these guidelines saw a drop in the number of people getting blood transfusions.

Records therefore indicate that guidelines have resulted into a drop in blood donation rates by 25% just as the demand for blood has declined by 13% during the time most countries were putting up measures to curb Covid-19.

WHO observes that these are the direct effect of suspension of routine surgeries in some of the African countries and also a drop in the number of people seeking medical care due to a mandatory lockdown.

In a bid to call out on people to donate, Dr. Matshidiiso Moeti encourages people to come up and donate more blood since insufficient blood on the continent would lead to loss of more lives.

In the same regard she went on to thank all the people who selflessly donate blood every other time for the good of other people while urging them to keep us with the same spirit to save more lives.

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“Disruptions to the steady supply of safe blood can be life threatening. We deeply appreciate the selfless, lifesaving gesture of blood donors and urge countries to set up and reinforce systems to increase voluntary blood donations,” she said.

In order to motivate an increase in the number of blood donors, World Health Organization has partnered with Facebook to include a regional blood donations feature aimed at connecting people to nearby blood banks.

So far, twelve countries can access this tool while upto 3.8 million Facebookers have already signed up to get notifications of blood donations opportunities in their vicinity.

These remarks and observations were made during the annual World Blood Donor Day celebration under the theme “Give blood and keep the world beating” aimed at ensuring how vitual a blood donor is.

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