MEDICAL OPERATIONS POSTPONED DUE TO BLOOD SHORTAGE AT N.R.H

National Medical Laboratory Director Alfred Dofai speaking to the media as Acting Manager of the hospital blood bank Donald Tahani, speaking to the media. Photo credit: SIBC.

National Medical Laboratory Director Alfred Dofai and Acting Manager of the hospital blood bank Donald Tahani, speaking to the media. Photo credit: SIBC.

Medical operations at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara have been postponed due to the shortage of blood supply from the National Medical Laboratory’s blood bank.

Director of the Medical Lab, Alfred Dofai revealed this in a media conference yesterday, prior to next week’s World Blood Donor Day.

Mr Dofai said the hospital needs blood each day and night especially for medical operations, but they are now postponed.

“Operation cases are in need of blood daily and I am sad to say that operations have been postponed because of blood shortages, so if they postponed your operation to survive just because of blood shortages, it’s serious as you deserve to live. We also have emergency cases at night which will need blood units.”

The Medical Lab Director said many different types of illnesses are in need of blood donations at the hospital.

“One group of people are the operations, the others are sick patients at the medical ward. Their sickness has caused them blood shortages, like cancer cases, some anaemic, some surgical especially diabetic patients which are very high and another group of people who needs more blood are our mothers during childbearing. They consume about more than 50 percent of the demand for blood.”

Meanwhile, the Acting Manager of the National Medical Laboratory, Donald Tahani says the blood supply system does not cater for the increasing blood demand at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara.

Mr Tahani told the media conference yesterday huge differences remain in the units of blood that are collected and its demand.

“There is a huge significant difference in blood collected and demand, for example at the NRH itself, for the last three years of 2011-2013 the demand was around the 8000-9000 mark of blood units but the collection was only 2000 blood units.”

Mr Tahani also highlighted the other challenges the National Medical Laboratory face, along with the urgency for blood donations.

“So there is this urgency or you could just imagine the huge demand and the load that the current blood service has struggled with along with all the problems mentioned by Mr Alfred. Things like lack of resources, lack of community support, which is not to the level enough to support blood supply in the country. While we speak NRH, Gizo and Kilu’ufi are coming up. Their blood demand has increased over the years.”

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