The Ministry of Health (MoH) has pleaded with the nation not to be scared of donating blood after a form three student of Mannathoko Community Junior Secondary School in Serowe lost his life after donating blood.
The MoH permanent secretary, Sheenaz El- Halabi confirmed the incident and said it was an isolated incident. She stated that the ministry could not be held liable for the loss. She said they are waiting for post-mortem results to ascertain the cause of death.
“The 17-year-old boy came to donate blood at our facility in Serowe whereupon tests were conducted prior to the donation and he passed. An abnormality was realised during the collection of blood and we stopped after collecting 300 ml to the target of 450 ml,” El- Halabi said. She said the student was then given a drink and biscuits, which is a norm after blood donation. She said they have since been told that he then went on to play football after the donation.
The ministry said the boy was not a first time donor. El- Halabi said the boy donated in February this year. She said the waiting period before the next donation is three
She said the incident was the first of its kind and called on Batswana not to shy away from donating blood, as there is a need in Botswana. “Students are our largest donor community, they also have healthy blood which we need to save lives. We would like to call on people not to shy away from donating blood as we have measures in place to ensure that we draw blood from only those who are healthy,” she said. She further called on people to follow instructions given by health authorities.