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Pictures: Blood, Techzim, COVID 19, you

So, heads up! This is not a tech or business article. This is Techzim sharing its experiences with this valuable community. We hope you all can contribute in some way to meeting the need for blood if not by donating, then perhaps by making this a conversation in all places you have conversation.

Alex, a member of the Techzim team suggested we go to National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ). She is a regular blood donor and she is passionate about the issue. We tried to convince her not do it, at least not now while there is the scare of an unprecedented pandemic. Her counter argument was strong: the need for blood doesn’t go away because there’s a pandemic, in fact it increases.

So, yesterday we went to the NBSZ, all of us except team members who work from other cities. They took us through the whole process that blood goes through under their roof from the moment a blood donor walks through the door up to the point blood is dispatched to a needy person who has requested for it through their doctor. Below are some photos to share with you our community:

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Indeed we went to the National Blood Services
Some folks (most) will just not wear the team colours!
Social distancing was not quite right there too…
Alex wanted to take the disposable coat with her. Zimbos will be Zimbos…

The serious need

What we learned is that right now the NBSZ has blood enough for just 3 days. They need all the donors they can get. We didn’t know that some of the blood products can only be kept for just 7 days! That means they need regular donors even if by some miracle no one needed any blood in a long stretch of time.

NBSZ mobile units go all over the country in vehicles like this one looking for donors and receiving donations
A part of the honours’ roll celebrating donors who have reached 100 donations. While at NBSZ, we met a man who has donated 121 times. Our own Alex has done it 18 times!
We went through every place blood goes from the moment a donor arrives on premise

COVID 19 makes things worse

The already limited amount of blood donated has seen a dip due to COVID 19 and its associated lockdowns. NBSZ usually gets a lot of donations from schools, churches, factories etc. With these places closed they kinda rely on walk ins alone at the moment.

Sister Tendai Bere demonstrating the simple blood iron test they perform before they determine whether a donor has enough iron to donate on that particular day. The ‘blood’ has to drop to the bottom of the tube for them to allow you to donate. You must also be aged 16 and above and weighing 50Kg and above for you to donate
Some of the NBSZ folks who were all too obliging to walk us through the whole process. On the right is the NBSZ Head of PR, Mr Tichaona Saira who was our host.
This is just a cool image!
This wonderful lady taught us about the whole ‘production process’ that results in several products that can be prescribed to patients for example platelets, serum etc
The path of the blood is tracked using a computerized system
At the end, some members of our team chose to donate. Men are allowed to donate once every 3 months if they wish and women can donate once every 4 months.

If you prefer to skip through the hour long video we took of our whole visit, we got you! You can watch and add to your conversation with people around you:


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