South African High Commissioner to Cameroon, Zanele Makina on Friday, July 29, 2016 led the staff of the High Commission, other South Africans resident in Yaounde and members of the general public in Yaounde in a blood-donation event aimed at filling the gap of over 400,000 litres of blood needed to save lives in Cameroon health institutions.
Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health, André Mama Fouda did not only encourage the gesture championed by the South African High Commission but personally watched High Commissioner, Zanele Makina preach by example by donating her own blood. Prominent government hospitals in the capital city, Yaounde such as the Yaounde Central Hospital (HCY), National Social Insurance Hospital (CNPS), Yaounde University Teaching Hospital (CHUY) and the Yaounde Gynaecology,Obstetrics and Pediatrics Hospital (HGOPY) all deployed staff and equipment to facilitate the blood donation exercise.
Speaking prior to the blood donation day, Zanele Makina said the event marked the close of activities for the Nelson Mandela International Day 2016. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared July 18, the day of birth of the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela as the Nelson Mandela International Day to celebrate the sacrifice and commitment of Mandela to the wellbeing of humanity. The South African High Commission in Cameroon therefore uses the celebration to identify a need in the society and contribute in meeting the need during Mandela Day celebrations.
“This year we identified a need that really touches the core of the nation. The issue of blood donation and the scarcity of blood in Cameroon as people need blood in hospitals when they are admitted for injury, child birth and many other diseases that demand blood transfusion,” Zanele Makina explained.
Through the blood donation campaign, she said, South Africa was partnering with Cameroon’s Public Health Ministry to mobilize and educate the community on the need to donate blood freely within the spirit of sacrifice Nelson Mandela demonstrated when he spent 26 years in prison in order to save his people. High Commissioner Makina said they targeted at least 400 people to donate blood and stated that it was “up to the government to know how to manage the blood collected.”