Friday, April 16, 2021

Botswana’s Forbes finalists embark on blood donation drive

Botswana has been struggling with low blood reserves for some years with a reported 23 400 units of blood donations in the year 2020 out of the required 45 000 units that the Botswana National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) aims for annually. 

It is in this nationwide cry by NBTS of low blood reserves in hospitals and the Blood Transfusion Services that the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 Botswana class of 2020 Finalists found it pivotal to embark on a blood donation drive. They intend to raise 100 pints of blood everyday.

The four Forbes finalists, Nijel Amos, Newman Ramatokwane, Tony Mautsu and Thobo Khathola will conduct the drive in Gaborone, Lobatse, Molepolole and Mochudi this coming Thursday going onto Sunday.

The four’s intention is to make it an annual event and they had hoped to cover most parts of the country but due to limited funds they have kept it to these four areas with the hope that in future sponsors would come on board.

They plan to raise 100 units of blood everyday. 

They have partnered with social media influencers and renowned artists/comedians, William Last KRM and Mjamaica who boast more than a combined total social media following of 2 million to help intensify the blood donation drive.

During the media briefing on Monday, Khathola, who owns a Tutoring company called Lion Tutoring said that he had personally lost close family members due to road accidents where the availability of blood could have saved their lives.

“We hear of deaths on operation beds where patients die due to the unavailability of blood across our country. This continues to worry me and my Forbes brothers because these are deaths that could easily be prevented.” He noted.

800M Olympic Champion, Amos said he was grateful for the opportunity of giving someone a chance to live.

Founder and Director of Social Light (PTY) LTD which offers digital solutions across Southern Africa, Mautsu said he decided to become part of the blood drive because of a young girl in Jwaneng who posted on social media recently in dire need of blood type O.

“She has been hospitalized for more than 14 days and she is still in hospital due to this need. Our hope is that through our blood drive we will be able to raise enough blood, raise awareness and help more people like her,” he said. 

For his part, Native Events Founder, Ramatokwane said they felt compelled to do something for their country because Batswana were not fortunate enough to know more about them due to the Covid-19 pandemic so when they saw a lot of people on social media seeking for blood donations they saw it fitting to help.

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