Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS) says there is an acute shortage of blood in the country’s hospitals because many people especially adults shy away from donating blood for fear of unknown reasons.

MBTS senior public relations assistant for the centre Upile Kaimvi made the remarks recently at Airtel head office premises in Lilongwe, where the mobile network firm engaged in a joint initiative with Bwaila Media Club to assist the organization collect blood from members of the general public including Airtel staff and journalists.

Kaimvi said MBTS targeted to collect 120,000 units of blood last year but only managed to hit almost half of the target due to people’s reluctance to donate blood.

She hailed Airtel and Bwaila Media Club for the joint initiative, urging other organisations, including religious bodies to emulate the good example.

“This is not the first time Airtel has come in to work with our organization. They have helped us before and it is more pleasing that another partner- Bwaila Media Club has come on board. We are looking forward to a continued relationship with the two partners,” she said.

According to Kaimvi, people above 25 years of age rarely donate blood as her body mostly collects blood from secondary school students.

Airtel managing director Charles Kamoto, who led the team from Airtel in donating blood pledged the company’s commitment to helping MBTS collect more blood to save more lives.

“Our main role as a mobile network company is to connect people and improve their lives and by helping the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service collect more blood, we are touching lives of people especially those who are in need of blood,” said Kamoto.

Secretary general for Bwaila Media Club Steve Chilundu asked journalists to keep sensitizing members of the general public on the importance of donating blood.