TANZANIA:Plans to Boost Units in Blood Banks Underway

September 2014 DailyNews; PLANS are underway to install a full automated machine at the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) offices in Dar es Salaam which has high screening capacity in a move to improve services and save more lives in the country by providing blood test results on time and end blood shortage in health centres.

NTBS Eastern Zone Head, Dr Aveline Mgasa said in an interview that at the moment the services are limited due to low capacity equipment which fail to meet demands on time.

Dr Mgasa said that the new machine which will have the capacity of screening a total of 200 blood samples at a go and 1,800 samples in a day thus solve the problem of queues at the centre which is overloaded at the time being since it caters for Dar es salaam, Coast, Morogoro and Dodoma regions.

In another development, she stated that NBTS with the help of other stakeholders has managed to increase blood collection in the country from 12,500 units in 2005 to 160,000 units last year. However, she said the amount is still small compared to the nation’s actual need of 400,000 units per year.

Dr Mgasa also reminded laboratory technicians and nurses in Coast region to follow professional procedures, especially during blood screening in their daily routines and minimise risks of diseases like Hepatitis B which is on the increase at the moment in the country.

She gave the reminder yesterday during the ongoing three-day training on Safe Blood held at Tumbi Hospital aimed at adding work force to the Safe Blood Team in the region. Dr Mgasa cautioned that it is against professional ethics to ignore the required procedures saying that doing so is endangering the patients and donors lives.

“Some of you have the tendency of ignoring sending blood samples to NBTS where diseases like Hepatitis B are detected using special tests and instead you keep using rapid tests procedures which cannot detect the disease,” she said, and called for the acts to stop at once.

She noted that there is evidence of an increase of Hepatitis B in the country which is probably contributed by health professionals who do not take proper diagnosis and tests from patients.

Speaking on behalf of Regional Medical Officer (RMO), Dr Aden Mpangile said that their department had seen the need of having the training since the Safe Blood Team (SBT) which is under Red Cross was small compared to the high demand of blood in the region.

“We have decided to equip you with essential knowledge on blood transfusion so that you will be able to assist SBT in your working areas and help fight deaths resulting from shortage of blood,” he said.


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