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    Friday, 3 November 2017

    Lawyer proposes Act to bring blood services under State control


    HARARE – A prominent Harare lawyer and a regular blood donor Rodgers Matsikidze has in a bid to make the life-giving liquid safe, affordable and available to every Zimbabwean proposed a blood control and transfusion act that will bring all blood services under State control.
    Speaking in a telephone interview with The Mirror this week, Matsikidze said there were many factors attached to blood that made State control mandatory.
    Currently blood donation and distribution is run by the National Blood Service of Zimbabwe which is a registered private company.
     He said blood is a national security issue which if not closely monitored can be used against the people. He said global terrorism uses anything in its wars and access to blood is an alternative that can be used to inflict a biological blow against a people. 
    "Distribution of contaminated blood can have a pandemic effect on a nation depending on what is used to contaminate the blood. Blood donation, blood distribution and blood transfusion are therefore a serious issue of national security," said Matsikidze.
    He also said that the State has an obligation to ensure that blood is free and available to every citizen who may need it.
    "It pains those who give their blood for free to realise that there are people who are dying because they can't afford to buy blood," said Matiskidze.
    He said he has since drafted the proposed act called the Zimbabwe Blood Control, Transfusion and Services Act which has been sent to the Minister of Health and Child Care for consideration.
    Matsikidze who is not seeking any payment for the work said he produced the draft for the Ministry in order to expedite the process since he had heard that at policy level Government is agreeable to the idea.
    He said he has made case studies of several countries where the State controls blood services. All citizens enjoy either free or heavily subsidised blood in those countries.
    The act which Matsikidze proposed has a board where four members will be drawn from the donors and the Minister of Health will appoint the other four.
    Matsikidze said State control on such an issue as blood services will bring about accountability, control and privacy.
    "We need to know how much blood we get a year, we need to know how it's distributed and we need to know demand and supply but this is difficult when you have a private company running these services," said Matsikidze.
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