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Scarcity of ‘O’ blood type hits Malawi

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By Bethsaida Msowoya:

AMONG BIG DONORS—Students

Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) has said it has a shortage of ‘O’ negative blood type in its blood banks across the country.

MBTS spokesperson, Allen Kaombe, said ‘O’ negative is an important blood type because it can be transfused to persons with different blood types.

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“O’ negative blood type is very rare in most cases; so, the collection of this type of blood has been very difficult,” Kaombe said.

Speaking ahead of World Blood Donor Day to be commemorated on June 15 in Lilongwe, Kaombe said MBTS had intensified awareness campaigns for more people to donate blood.

Kaombe said, for instance, MBTS had collected 63,000 units of blood against targeted 80,000 units from July 2018 to date.

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Malawi needs 120,000 units of blood to cater for the needs of patients across the country.

“The upcoming event focuses on raising awareness on the role of safe, timely, accessible blood and blood products in helping people in need of blood transfusion in hospitals,” he said.

MBTS collects more blood during school summer holidays.

This year’s commemorations will be held under the theme ‘Safe Blood for All’.

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