The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said blood donation fell by 17 per cent in Africa in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An analysis released yesterday by the global agency showed that blood drive in the region dropped by 25 per cent, while demand dipped by 13 per cent besides suspension of routine surgeries in some countries and observation of fewer people seeking care in health facilities.
The report also discovered that some seven million people needed blood transfusion yearly on the continent.
With the theme, ‘Give blood and keep the world breathing’, this year’s World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) acknowledged the invaluable contributions of blood donors to saving lives and health improvement.
WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, noted: “Disruptions to the steady supply of safe blood can be life-threatening. We deeply appreciate the selfless, life-saving gesture of blood donors and urge countries to set up and reinforce systems to increase voluntary blood donation.”
The global body is collaborating with the Coalition of Blood for Africa, Organisation of African First Ladies for Development, the private sector and others to improve access to quality blood.
In partnership with Facebook, WHO has established a regional blood donation feature to connect people with nearby blood banks. The tool is live in 12 countries, with over 3.8 million users signed up for notification of donation opportunities.Follow us on social media