THE Lesotho Blood Transfusions Service (LBTS) will on Monday host a blood donation campaign at Makoanyana Square in Maseru, in commemoration of the World Blood Donor Day.
World Blood Donor Day is commemorated on 14 June annually to raise awareness on the need for safe blood and blood products as well as appreciating the efforts by blood donors.
LBTS blood donor recruiter Khatala Liphoto told the Lesotho Times yesterday that the campaign will be in partnership with Blood for Life Donor Club.
Blood for Life Donor Club is a youth-led club which promotes blood donation by mobilising donors on different platforms including online.
As of yesterday, Mr Liphoto said, the blood bank only had 13 units of blood. The bank has therefore been relying on people who donate blood for their relatives.
“We received a significant amount of blood from Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) donors last week but they have almost run out now,” Mr Liphoto said.
“So, to get more blood, we will hold the campaign on 14 June under strict observance of Covid-19 protocols to ensure everyone is safe. We chose Makoanyane Square because it is an open space that is visible to the public and can easily attract donors in the central business district (CBD).”
The LBTS has been suffering a chronic shortage of blood since the beginning of Covid-19-induced national lockdowns last year. The lockdowns meant that schools, the biggest donors had to be closed, thereby sparking a shortage.
While relaxed lockdown restrictions have seen increased movement of human traffic, the blood bank is still struggling because most companies are working with reduced staff to avoid spreading Covid-19, he said.
“Currently, the only gatherings that are visible are for political rallies and sports but they are not our target because most people would be intoxicated during those events. We cannot take blood from people who are intoxicated. Another challenge is that some people have been vaccinated for Covid-19 and we must wait for at least two months before they can donate again.”
The blood bank often relies on donations by students but lately, it has been difficult to access them because of their revised routines where they do not attend school daily.