ABOUT 50 Airtel staff participated in the staff blood drive by donating as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme.
Airtel head of corporate communication and government relations Yuyo Kambikambi said the company believed in touching and changing people’s lives through many programmes which also focused on individual employees giving back to the community.
University Teaching Hospital (UTH) blood bank last week set camp at the Airtel head offices for a full day which also included general body checkups and blood type analysis among others.
Ms Kambikambi said the company was aware of the blood deficit with up to 150,000 people in need of blood every year.
She said the sospital blood supply would sometimes run low and therefore it was imperative for able–bodied individuals to give blood to help the blood bank keep up with high demand.
“We have received tremendous support from the Ministry of Health through the University Teaching Hospital blood bank who this morning set up camp at our premises to conduct various activities including giving our staff the opportunity to donate blood,” Ms Kambikambi said.
She explained that it was not the first time the company was embarking on the blood donation exercise, and that as employees they have volunteered their life-saving blood as an event for every three months.
Airtel said the
blood could be used to help patients undergoing surgery, and most especially accident victims and mothers who may have complications during childbirth.
And blood bank donor services manager Dia Phiri Kumwenda said the event would help increase blood stocks at the bank. She said it was a rare occasion that busy people like the Airtel staff could take some time and donate blood in the manner the company had done.
“It is rare to have busy individuals opt to donate blood, so when Airtel asked us to come through to their offices, we were more than happy to set up camp and indeed great results have been yielded today,” Ms Kumwenda said.
She has since called on other corporate partners to encourage their employees to donate blood by emulating Airtel and make a plan for such an event.
She said the blood bank was this year targeting to have enough blood at all times to help save lives, and that if individuals could donate blood or indeed companies encouraged their staff, it would definitely improve the situation.
In Zambia, nearly 150,000 people are in need of blood transfusions every year, but sometimes the Blood Bank struggles to meet the demand for the life-saving liquid due to lack of donors.