By Christina Kilowe In answering the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service’s (MBTS) call of bringing blood transfusion services in hard-to-reach and distant areas through the placement of blood bank fridges in district hospitals, CDH Investment Bank has donated 2 Million Malawian Kwacha towards the cause. Speaking during the handover ceremony, MBTS Chief Executive Officer,Natasha Nsamala, expressed gratitude for the gesture and appealed to more corporate organisations to emulate the example.
“We are truly grateful that CDH Investment Bank heeded our call for assistance in a very speedy manner. They have set a good example of what corporate social responsibility really entails and we trust that more organisations will follow suit. This donation will contribute towards the purchase of a blood bank fridge that is being earmarked for Mangochi district and will serve hospitals like Monkey Bay Community Hospital and Muli Bwanji Mission Hospital which have when it comes to accessing safe blood from MBTS,” she said. MBTS supplies blood to over 90 hospitals spread out across the country. These are Central, district, rural and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) hospitals that are authorized to carry out blood transfusions. The organization routinely supplies the following blood products: Whole blood, red cell concentrates, platelets, fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate. All these products except for whole blood are available only through the MBTS and the whole blood and red cells are available in adult and pediatric packs. MBTS supplies blood to the hospitals through its four centers located in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Balaka. Hospitals are required to collect blood from MBTS’ centres. This poses a serious challenge for hospitals that are located in remote areas making it difficult for them to access blood A serious consequence of this limited access is that such hospitals resort to asking relatives and friends to donate blood for the patient. This Family replacement blood donation system has got many challenges and may compromise blood safety. In a bid to increase accessibility of blood MBTS has embarked on a program that is aimed at improving accessibility of blood to hospitals in remote areas. This program entails placing blood bank fridges in district hospitals that have several other hospitals surrounding it essentially to break the distance between the remote hospitals and MBTS centers.
To date, blood bank fridges have been placed at Karonga District Hospital, Kasungu district Hospital and Ngabu Rural Hospital to enable surrounding hospitals to have access to blood units from MBTS.