The National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) prepared for World Blood Donor Day for some time in advance. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and other stakeholders, such as WHO, the day was marked at all five NBSZ regional centres, at Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo.
Press adverts thanked blood donors, and there were spots on radio and television.Banners and other promotional material were distributed. The media were invited to cover the celebrations on 14 June. At the national event, to be held at NBSZ headquarters in Harare, the guest speaker was the Minister of Health and Child Welfare. He said that Zimbabwe should be proud of being one of the 39 countries in the world that have a blood donation system that runs on a 100% voluntary donation basis. Even so, the country was still not self-sufficient in blood supplies, and the Minister urged Zimbabweans to commit themselves to regular voluntary blood donation in order to increase the donor population. He commended blood donors, 78 percent of whom are schoolchildren, to continue committing themselves to donating blood voluntarily.
Testimonies were heard from blood donors and from blood transfusion recipients and their relatives and friends. Representatives from WHO, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Ministry of Education were in attendance.
Music from the prison band, drama and poems from Pledge 25 Club members and peer promoters provided the entertainment. After the main event, refreshments were served.
Tonderai Mapako
Executive Officer, Research, Development and Data Management