Area Development Committee (ADC) members from Senior Chief Chimaliro in Thyolo, visited Malawi Blood Transfusion service (MBTS), O’dala centre in Blantyre to appreciate how blood is screened, processed and stored after being collected from the community.
The ADC’s Chairperson, Clement Siliya, said the fear of the community members’ is that their donated blood is not used for the intended purpose.
“We are here to witness how blood collected in our communities is being used, so that we can take back home what our eyes will witness,” he said.
The tour was mainly in the Blood Donor and Laboratory Departments where the ADC members were shown how blood is collected from the donor, screened for Transfusion Transmissible Infections (TTI’s), grouped into blood groups, produced into blood products and stored ready for distribution to all hospitals authorized in carrying out blood transfusions. “Now that we have seen for ourselves the great job done here, we will continue mobilizing our fellow community members during different community gatherings to give more blood and save lives,” said Group Village Headman Chimaliro, Mary Kaphiyo.
Information Education Communication (IEC) officer, Wellington Maseko of Thyolo District Health Office (DHO) is one of the officers working with ADC in mobilising people to donate blood and he applauded MBTS for both the Community Campaigns and education tour initiatives.
“Blood Donation Community Campaigns are essential as they enable MBTS to collect blood both when schools are in and out of session. Community members donate blood through the help of our Traditional Authority’s (T/A’s). Additionally, this education tour is significant in achieving the objectives of the campaigns’as it has enhanced mobilisers’ knowledge in blood donation and transfusion respectively,” he said.
In the course of sustaining blood collections during lean period, MBTS implemented the Blood Donation Community Campaigns so as to increase the targeted populations for blood donation. The Organization works hand in hand with T/A’s, ADC and VDC members, Group Village Headmen (GVH) and DHO’s in conducting these campaigns. In the Southern region of Malawi, this initiative was implemented in Chikwawa, Thyolo, Zomba and Blantyre districts.