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TANZANIA: Blood Shortage Kills Hundreds of Expectant Mothers

February 2016 DailyNews; Shortage of blood transfusions in the Country’s hospitals has been cited as the main leading cause of the maternal deaths in the country.

Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Saidi Meck Sadiki made the revelation in Dar es Salaam yesterday when inaugurating a satellite blood donation centre at Mbagala Rangi Tatu hospital in the city.

Basing on the national statistics, Mr Sadiki said that 80 per cent of maternal deaths occur due to blood deficiency in expectant mothers and children.

“According to the national statistics, some 432 deaths out of 100,000 mothers occur every year where by 80 per cent of the deaths (432 maternal deaths) are caused by lack of blood transfusions,” he said.

He called on the ‘wananchi’ in the country to develop habits of donating blood to help save the lives of majority of Tanzanians especially mothers and babies under five who are the main people affected.

Commenting on the set satellite blood donation centre, the RC said that the centre is meant to help the community based donors and others contribute easily and regularly to help the hospitals in the Region acquire enough stock of blood transfusions.

“Blood transfusions requirements in Dar es Salaam is high compared to other regions, we therefore need to have enough stock of blood to help suit the patients’ needs,” he noted adding that the Region (Dar es Salaam) requires 4,000 bottles of blood per month, but currently the region receives 2000 bottles.

“Sometimes the blood requirements go even higher, a situation that endangers the lives of people,” he said reiterating the need for the public, stakeholders including the government Leaders to join hands in ensuring enough blood transfusions.

On the other hand, District Medical Officer of Temeke Dr Sylina Mamkwe highly commended the government for inaugurating the centre since it stands to contribute to blood donation and save the lives of people mostly mothers.

She said Temeke District has been one among the areas being affected by maternal deaths, with the leading cause attributed to lack of blood transfusions in the District’s hospitals. She said maternal deaths in the District have been reduced from 58 to 25 in 2015.

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