While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted various health agencies, the National Blood Transfusion Service has been functioning well, although it has faced a reduction in blood donations.
Director of the Blood Bank, Dr. Pedro Lewis explained today that due to the pandemic, there has been a 22% reduction in blood donations and that has caused the service to shift its management into a new direction.
“2020 as you know, would have been the most difficult year for persons, the blood bank is no exception. We are very pleased with the turnout that we had despite the pandemic. We had a reduction from about March to September with voluntary blood donation but of course, we had a system in place so as to meet our voluntary donors”, Dr. Lewis explained.
He said that in the face of the challenges caused by COVID-19, the Blood Bank expanded its reach into various communities in search of new donors. It also kept in regular contact with regular donors.
Dr. Lewis said the suspension of some non-emergency surgeries eased the strain on the blood transfusion service.
But with a new year and the public hospitals restarting many of the surgeries that were put on hold, the blood bank will be seeking to attract new donors.
“We have to remember that voluntary blood donations are the safest way of blood donation, we have other types of blood donation, family donation paid donations but voluntary blood donation is the safest type of blood donations and it has been practiced in many countries.” Dr. Lewis.
The National Blood Transfusion Service is using January as the month to push for more blood donors.