Blood Transfusion Service site visit Harare, Zimbabwe 4 th - T-REC

Blood Transfusion Service site visit
Harare, Zimbabwe 4th October 2011
This visit took place on the morning of 4th October 2011 and was organised for the visiting T-REC
team (Imelda Bates, Rene van Hulst, Shirley Owusu-Ofori) by staff at the Centre. The Centre is set
next to Harare’s main hospital in beautifully kept gardens which provide the setting for several
sculptures. The visit started in the venesection area where several donors were being bled or sitting
in the café areas having their post-donation refreshments. The Centre has an active apheresis
programme for the donation of platelets and plasma. We visited all the laboratory sections where
infection screening, grouping and antibody studies are undertaken and all the areas where blood is
processed into components and stored. All the blood is bar coded and documentation and quality
control processes are extremely rigorous. The Centre has a dedicated communications office
responsible for dealing with the public and the press and for producing items for a weekly
newspaper column. In the afternoon we visited a mobile blood donation unit which was visiting a
secondary school several miles outside Harare. Several boys were undergoing health checks,
donating blood or receiving refreshments while we were there and many of them were regular
donors. The session was managed extremely efficiently using the same rigorous processes as we had
observed in the Centre in Harare. All the staff at the centre and in the mobile teams were extremely
welcoming and highly professional, clearly taking great pride in their work and aware of their
important contribution to health care in Zimbabwe.