Zipline Ghana, the medical drone delivery company over the weekend partnered with the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) and the League of Youth, a cluster of youth groups based in the northern region to carry out mass blood donation exercise in the Tamale metropolis.
The organisers set to harvest about 150 units of blood from the public to supply the blood bank of the TTH and the other two government hospitals in the regional capital.
The Blood Drive Focal Person and Fulfilment Operations Professional at Zipline Ghana, Madam Shemau Muniru explained that the spirit of the organization to partner with the League of Youth and TTH was to ensure there is adequate blood supply in the hospitals and the Zipline distribution centres so that blood would be accessible to patients.
She added that the company supplies essential medical services to about 270 health facilities ranging from district hospitals to health centres and CHPS Compound.
“We do serve medical products, we serve blood products, which is one of the core mandates of Zipline and we serve vaccines as well. We do this blood drives twice every month to make sure that all blood centres that we partner with would’ve adequate stock so that the Zipline distribution centres would also have adequate stock”, Madam Shemau explained.
According to her, since the establishment of the Zipline distribution centre in the Walewale municipality, there has been a significant improvement in the healthcare supply chain within the catchment area.
“Immunization rate keeps increasing, maternal mortality has reduced drastically because of blood rise like this – people can have access to blood where they need them most; snake bites which used to be an issue especially during the harmattan season has reduced because of the inception of Zipline within our catchment area, so healthcare delivery has greatly improved” she emphasized.
President of the League of Youth, Mr. Abu Inusah said the group had to intervene after it realised there was no blood in the Tamale Central and Tamale West hospitals and the major referral centre in the five regions of northern Ghana.
He said it was therefore necessary and timely for the association to mobilise youth groups and individuals to donate blood to save lives.
Mr Inusah disclosed that the group has organised similar mass donation exercises in the past to ensure the blood banks of the health facilities are adequately equipped.
He however lamented that the insurgence of COVID-19 has caused fears in people to voluntarily make blood donation when the need arises.
As a result, he accordingly, commended the donors for coming out in their numbers to support the exercise.
“I am very pleased to have our energetic youth coming today to save lives by donating blood. It’s very exciting that the people have turnout. So far, we have had 80 pints of blood and more are still expected to come because when we made announcement to the youth, the response was great” he indicated.
The Principal Blood Donor Organizer at TTH, Madam Shirley Baah for her part, also commended the League of Youth for the timely intervention to save the situation at the hospitals and many lives that would’ve been lost as a result of lack of blood.
“Currently, if I should be frank with you, our fridges are empty and I should tell you there is nothing at the blood bank. So if somebody should come in at the hospital right now looking for blood, it is going to be a whole lot of issues because we wouldn’t be able to get blood for the patient” she revealed.
She attributed the blood shortage to a very large extent to the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining that many people have expressed fear of contracting the virus if they volunteer to donate blood.
She prayed that people would always visit the hospital to donate blood without grasps of fear in them.