WINDHOEK: The Namibia Blood Transfusion Services (NAMBTS) on Thursday announced that the national blood supply is under severe pressure after the recent school holidays.
“An absence of donors during the school break, and an increase in those suffering from common winter viruses has contributed to the now low three-day stock,” clinic planner at NAMBTS, Wendy Willemse said in a media statement issued on Thursday.
She called on donors to visit fixed sites, and assist the centre in boosting the blood supply.
The basic criteria to become a blood donor is that interested individuals should be 16 to 65 years of age; weigh more than 50 kilogrammes; enjoy general good health; practice a safe lifestyle; and be committed to helping others.
Willemse said the blood donation process is completely safe, and takes only 20 minutes.
Donors must remember to eat a substantial meal within three to four hours before donation.
Mobile collection teams go out on a daily basis to collect blood across Namibia, keeping travelling distances and logistics in mind. Since donors are allowed to donate blood every 56 days, collection visits are planned at a two to three-month interval.
According to Willemse, donors in Windhoek are lucky as they have access to fixed donor centres at the United House clinic in Independence Avenue, and at 35 Tal Street near the Namibia Traffic Information Systems’ (NaTIS) offices.
These centres offer donors the luxury of donating at their own leisure, as the centres are open five days a week.
Many donors also find it comforting to donate blood with a familiar collection team, which is not always the case with mobile units but possible at the fixed centres.
Willemse said a familiar environment, comfortable donation chairs and easy access also add to the appeal of donating blood at a fixed site.