BUJUMBURA October 1st (ABP) – The Director General (DG) of the National Blood Transfusion Center (CNTS), Mr. Félicien Nzotungwanayo, indicated on Wednesday in an interview with a check by ABP that the blood donation situation is currently satisfactory as far as it meets the forecast for the week.
He said that they are in good times because secondary and university institutions help the CNTS to reach its targets easily, that is to say, the donors gathered in well-known places, which has facilitated awareness and blood donation.
The CNTS has set itself the goal of collecting 2,000 bags of blood per week, which may or may not be achieved depending on whether the sites have been very productive or less productive, according to Mr. Nzotungwanayo. Even if its goal is achieved, it cannot be said to be self-sufficient because, he meant, to be self-sufficient, there would have to be ten bags of blood per 100 inhabitants. “If the people of Burundi are estimated at nearly 12 million, they should be able to collect more or less 120,000 bags per year. But it is at 96,000 pockets, which means that the threshold recommended by the WHO has not been reached, said Mr. Nzotungwanayo.
In addition, the CNTS manages to have blood from all categories of blood group because it has old and new donors, according to its director, who reported that the donations are proportional to the requesting blood groups.
For the so-called rare blood groups, the particularity, as for the O- group where an individual must find a donor of the same blood group and the same negative Rh, unlike others where, in addition to donors of the same group, the O + group can serve all rh+ positive groups, the chances of maximizing blood can be difficult. In this case, the CNTS has set up a mechanism which consists of contact donors who are in its repertoire. Next to it, there is an association of donors from the O- group which helps the center in case of need.
The CNTS does two types of collections. There are collections at fixed sites, that is to say, at the headquarters of the CNTS and at the headquarters of the regional blood transfusion centers. It also organizes so-called mobile collections at sites where it first raises awareness. It asks for appointments and goes to the sites to collect. Those sites are often schools, military and police camps, churches, markets and other public places. In this strategy, it receives blood from all blood groups, although the proportions are not the same.
According to DG of the CNTS, the material is sufficient and there is even an order from CAMEBU, whether for collection inputs or equipment. The Center does not have a particular problem even with the onset of COVID-19 because, he said, the government has made the necessary arrangements.
For operating costs, Mr. Nzotungwanayo says he is satisfied, but the needs are not lacking. The Center thinks about its development and innovations, which it cannot do without having additional resources, that is to say, human, material and financial resources. It has projects that it would like to achieve but which require resources.
The DG of the CNTS appealed to all the people of Burundi to make this concern for blood donation their own because, he believes, it is a humanitarian act, an act that saves lives and an act of human dignity. He calls on all those who are in the conditions to donate blood to do so voluntarily and those who cannot do so to raise awareness so that the people make blood donation their own.
He recalled that the age group concerned is 18 to 65 years old, and the conditions are to have a weight over more than 50 kg, not to be under medical treatment, not to have pathological diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, infections transmitted by blood, the viral hepatitis B and C virus, AIDS, but also pregnant or breastfeeding women and women and girls during menstrual periods.