The National Blood Services of Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has temporarily suspended the distribution of blood to hospitals countrywide due to low blood blank levels owing to a shortage of essential consumables such as blood bags.
In a statement, NBSZ Public Affairs Manager Esther Massundah said the institution is facing serious procurement and funding challenges in importing test kits and blood bags caused by the international travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
“NBSZ advises the public, blood donors, business associates, and all Health Institutions that our supply of blood and blood products to health institutions in Zimbabwe are currently constrained due to shortage of critical imported consumables such as test kits and blood bags, owing to serious funding and procurement challenges,” said Massundah.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the procurement of these critical items have been delayed due to logistics challenges caused by international travel restrictions, which has led to the scarcity of cargo flights.”
She added that NBSZ had reduced its liquid body substance collection schedules and called for blood donors to visit its various static clinics dotted around the country to make blood donations.
“We are expecting the arrival of part of these critical supplies by Friday which will lead us to work all weekend in order for normal services to resume on Monday.
“Our laboratories will remain operational throughout the weekend to clear any testing backlogs and ensure that there is some normalcy on the supply of blood to hospitals,” Massundah said.