The government in partnership with the National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has begun a needs assessment of local hospitals’ capacity to carry out blood transfusion as it begins the process of further reducing the cost of blood to the targeted $10 by end of year.

As the government moves towards ensuring access to blood and blood products in health institutions at affordable prices, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is working on capacitating hospitals that they be able to carry out transfusions and also ensure decentralisation of the NBSZ countrywide.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care said they are targeting to further reduce blood price to $10 by end of this year, following the injection of a $ 4.7 million subsidy by the government to the NBSZ which saw a price reduction from $80 to $50 a pint beginning this year.

NBSZ public affairs manager Ms Esther Massundah said they are currently working on a framework to review the fee structure for the private sector which remains very high.

She, however, bemoaned limited stocks of Blood Group O appealing for donors to come through and donate.

In October 2016, a pint of blood was pegged at $135, figures that were beyond reach of many leading to the government’s intervention.

The NBSZ is targeting to collect 70 000 units of blood this year.