Namibia's blood stocks near empty as COVID-19 restrictions bite

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-14 21:17:32|Editor: huaxia

WINDHOEK, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Namibian hospitals face shortages of blood supply needed in critical medical emergencies due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the Blood Transfusion Services of Namibia (NAMBTS) said Thursday.

On average, 150 units of blood are needed daily to meet medical needs countrywide, but only 100 units are being collected since March last year when COVID-19 was discovered in the southern African nation, NAMBTS spokesperson Titus Shivute said in an interview.

"Educational institutions contribute over 30 percent of total blood collections annually and the fact that we have been unable to host blood donation sessions at most institutions since March last year has negatively affected our bloodstock," he said.

The recent decision to postpone the opening of schools had worsened the crisis, Shivute further said.

"We have had to cancel sessions that were planned at schools for the month of January due to the postponement of the reopening of schools."

The Namibian government last week deferred the opening of schools for the 2021 school calendar from Jan. 11 to Jan. 26 as COVID-19 infections spike. Enditem