Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS) joined the international community to commemorate World Blood Donor Day on 14 June for the third year running. To mark the day, MBTS organized events and activities at the First Merchant Bank Car Park in Blantyre attended by 244 blood donor representatives from across the country. Dignitaries includes the Minister of Health, the World Health Organization representative and influential members of the community. The day was commemorated with the theme, “Life is precious. Be a Life Saver. Give Blood”.
Blood donors from different schools and colleges were presented and there were performances by the Army Secondary School, Kaphuka Private Schools and Club 25 members amongst others. Popular local comedians joined blood donors in disseminating information about voluntary non-remunerated blood donation. In their sketch, local comedians urged politicians to lead by example by donating blood and to encourage more people to become regular blood donors.
Moving testimonials by blood recipients bore witness to the life-saving gift of donated blood.
Awards were presented to organizations with outstanding performances in the services of blood donation. These included the Hindu community, three schools and Malawi Club 25. It was noted that the latter has, in fact, become a role model for the world in encouraging the youth of the world to adopt safe behaviour and to donate blood for the good of all those in need. A gold medal and certificate was also presented to a 10-time donor, who said that he would like to encourage others present to continue to donate blood in order to meet their award milestones.
The Minister of Health paid special tribute to MBTS for being able to meet 100% of the present blood requirements for all central hospitals and 80% of the district and major private hospitals in the country.
The commemoration received widespread publicity and was featured in both radio and television programmes, and in newspapers. The British Broadcasting Corporation carried a story on Malawi’s commemoration of 2006 World Blood Donor Day.
Jean Emmanuel
Malawi Blood Transfusion Service