Cameroon launched a three-week campaign Wednesday to increase blood donation as the Central African nation faces a severe blood shortage, said Dora Mbanya, director general of the National Blood Transfusion Center.
Cameroon needs 400,000 blood bags annually, but only about 147,000 were collected last year, according to the Ministry of Public Health.
During an event to mark World Blood Donor Day Wednesday, Mbanya said the target is to reach 3,000 health districts in this campaign.
“We want to continue to encourage people to donate blood freely, not necessarily because a family member or friend is in need,” She said, adding that only then will the center be able to provide enough blood.
Cameroonian Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie said there are about 782 deaths per 100,000 births in the country and nearly half of these cases are related to bleeding, stressing the need for people to donate blood in campaigns.