In the blight of Botswana National Blood Transfusion Services’ (BNBTS) deficit in its blood banks, the Forbes Africa (FA) 30 Under 30 Class of 2020 came to the party to raise donors.
The newly found collaboration bwteen BNBTS and FA resulted in a four-day blood donation drive that ended on January 16th and garnered 785 pints of blood.
FA said 1028 donors were seen. From the donors registered, 785 pints of blood were collected. In all the places targeted by FA’s campaign, Gaborone gave out the highest number of donors and the highest units of blood collected, citing 600 donors and 429 pints from January 13-14th.
Despite Gaborone’s performance, FA’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2020 observed that Gaborone has potential for more collections if campaigns are staged in different malls.
The last time Botswana recorded its highest number of blood donations was in 2010. Tumelo Ramalebang, a Blood Donor Recruitment Coordinator at BNBTS, gave a dire picture when commenting on the annual average of blood donations the centre receives. “In 2010, we collected around 30 000 pints of blood. and that has been the highest so far” Ramalebang said. “Since then, we have been on an average of 25 000 pints, most of the years thereafter,” she added.
For a blood donation centre that yearly aims to collect 45 000 pints, the nation should lose sleep in this wave of a recurring blood deficit. Ramalebang mentioned that as the national blood bank, the centre is, every year, mandated to collect blood from 2% of Botswana’s population, which is equivalent to 45 000 pints. The BNBTS centre, established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, is the sole authority responsible for the provision of safe, adequate and accessible supply of blood and blood products in Botswana, according to The National Policy on Blood Transfusion.
Numen Ramatokwane, a member of FA’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2020 Botswana and diverse entrepreneur said: “We came on board to partner with BNBTS so that we can be a catalyst in terms of marketing because we have realized that we have substantial followers on social media.”
Ramalebang said the national blood bank is open for more partnerships not just with FA, but “with different private companies and government departments that are coming forth to help us with collecting blood from the nation.” She also said they are are more than ready to work with the FA team again.
Through their distinct influence and social media followership -, will raise the current blood donation numbers. “We came on board to partner with BNBTS so that we can be a catalyst in terms of marketing because we have realized that we have substantial followers on social media.”
In addition to their organic following, the FA brothers elicited support from Refilwe Ramokate, “Mjaimaca” and Bofelo Molebatsi, comically “Motsetserepa”. The six convened last year September to begin talks which led to the four-day blood donation drive. Since making it to the FA 30 Under 30 Class of 2020, Ramatokwane said supporting BNBTS has been their first initiative in promoting national development.