MALAWI – The Malawi Blood Transfusion Services (MBTS) has received MWK 2 million (US$2,500) from CDH Investment Bank, the leading investment bank in Malawi, to procure a blood bank fridge in efforts to boost access to blood transfusions.
The organization partners with relevant hospitals in the public and private sector, College of Medicine, clinical laboratories and their staff, clinicians and related projects along with the Blood Donor Associations of Malawi which are authorized to carry out blood transfusions.
It ensures that many patients across the country requiring blood transfusion have timely access to safe blood as well as coordinates all activities related to blood collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution to save lives and improve health.
MBTS supplies blood products to over 90 hospitals spread across the country such as whole blood, red cell concentrates, platelets, fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate though its centres in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Balaka where hospitals are required to collect from.
Malawi Blood Transfusion Services has received funds to procure a new blood fridge which will further support its mission to boost blood safety and availability in district hospitals in remote areas which ultimately serves several health centres surrounding the hospitals.
Mangochi District Hospital in Malawi will be supplied with the blood bank fridge to support blood transfusion services in nearby outreach stations namely the Monkey Bay Health Centre and Muli Bwanji Mission Hospital.
The new blood storage will address the challenge Mangochi District Hospital faces currently as the facility accesses blood from Balaka-based Centre for the MBTS but its surrounding remote health service institutions are strained due to long distances.
It will facilitate access to safe blood for patients in Mangochi District which will go a long way in preventing maternal deaths from pregnancy and childbirth related blood loss as well as accident victims’ deaths due lack of access to blood.
CDH Investment Bank Chief Operating Officer James Chikoti stated that the initiative fits in the company’s corporate social responsibility policy which aims at supporting health initiatives that impact on the quality of health services in the areas where access to health care is limited.
“We share the ideals of MBTS in promoting access to health as we all know that health is wealth and this is our contribution to assisting those who cannot access blood services due to distance. We are honored to partner with MBTS in such a worthy cause,” acknowledged Chikoti.
MBTS Chief Executive Officer Natasha Nsamala highlighted that hospitals located in remote areas faced a limited access to blood leading such hospitals to resort to asking relatives and friends to donate blood for their patient.
“The family replacement blood donation arrangement has got many challenges such as compromising blood safety hence placing the blood banks in strategic centres will break the distance between the remote hospitals and MBTS centres,” explained Natasha Nsamala.
She revealed that the organization has already set aside blood banks at district hospitals for Karonga District and Kasungu District as well as one at Ngabu rural hospital.
She further disclosed that the advanced blood bank with a capacity of 1,000 pints placed at Ngabu rural hospital was donated by Illovo Sugar Malawi Plc to increase access to blood units.