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Letshego donates blood



Rose Moremoholo

MASERU – EMPLOYEES from two local companies and the Lesotho Correctional Service donated 20 pints of blood to the Lesotho Blood Transfusion Services last week.
The workers were from Letshego Financial Services and NBC Insurance.
The donation was made at Letshego’s premises in Maseru last Thursday.
Letshego, which organised the event, said it did so as a way to give back to the community especially during the summer season when the need for blood increases because of road accidents.

’Malehlohonolo Van Tonder, the Letshego CEO, said this is the first time the company’s employees have donated blood.
Van Tondeer said as an institution they live to help those who are less fortunate. “At Letshego we say let’s improve lives, and we understand that through giving blood we can improve other people’s lives,” Van Tonder said. Van Tonder said after the Worlds AIDS Day celebration on December 1, it was only best to give blood since statistics show that there is shortage of blood in the blood bank. ’Maleqhoa ’Nyopa, the Director at LBTS, said blood is never enough and the blood bank is in dire need of blood especially in December due to the increase in road accidents. “Letshego is doing a very good job, we wish all companies can join in and let their employees give blood as well as those surrounding them,” ’Nyopa said.
’Nyopa said the bank has a challenge of meeting the blood needs of hospitals.

She however said hospitals do not mention how many patients die because of having lost blood and the extent to which blood is scarce.
“We however know that the scarcity of blood in the bank is bad. When one hospital needs five packets of blood we can only provide two,” ’Nyopa said.
She said the security agencies are their biggest blood donor and an intensive advocacy need to be done in the commercial sector for businesses to join in.
“Slowly the knowledge gap is being bridged and we can see light as more people are donating their blood to save lives,” ’Nyopa said.
The Lesotho Blood Transfusion Service said it stopped going to schools to ask students to donate blood because of some issues that needed to be addressed such as consent from the parents.
She however said the bank promised to go back to schools next year with a letter to address the consent issues.
Makhetha Tšilo, 34, a private volunteer who donated blood on that day, said he last donated blood when he was in high school more than a decade ago.
“I have no excuses why I had stopped but I am ready to give blood more often,” Tšilo said.
Tšilo said he understood the need to give blood.

“It is for my wife, child, friend, relative, friend and everyone that may need it. It is vital that we give our blood to save lives.”
“One day I will need blood and I know someone’s blood will save me,” he said.
The Lesotho Blood Transfusion Service was established in June 1984 as an integral part of the Central Laboratory Services by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
Its goal is to provide safe and adequate blood and blood products to all the hospitals in the country.
This is achieved through the recruitment, selection and retention of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors, collection, processing, screening and storage of blood and blood products, distribution of blood and blood products to all the hospitals.

Blood transfusion is touted as an essential part of health care delivery.
However this therapeutic intervention may be associated with acute or delayed complications and carries the risk of transmission of infectious agents.
In the United States, for instance, there is a movement within the medical field to move towards non-blood medical management in hospitals.

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