By Kudakwashe Chidziya
The greatest joy of a teacher is to have an excelling student. As a health service, the greatest joy and pride is found when someone’s life is saved. Constance Dohwe’s testimony is a reflection that enough blood stocks can save an individual’s life regardless of all odds. She is a proud survivor of aplastic anemia and her experience justifies our rhetoric, LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD.
“I, Constance Dohwe, am a 17-year girl from Zimbabwe, Africa. In 2020, I was diagnosed with a rare blood condition called Aplastic Anemia where your bone marrow fails to produce enough blood cells. Basically, your body will not be able to produce blood and to protect you from excessive internal or external bleeding because of low platelets. I was given 3 treatment options in order of the best to worst.
- Bone marrow transplant (BMT)
- Chemo therapy of Anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG)
- Steroids (strongly not recommended).”
She added: “Since there is no BMT’s performed in our country, I opted for ATG chemo. However, this drug is not found in Zimbabwe but it can be administered in the local hospitals. I got mine from India. Whilst I waited for the drug to arrive and be administered, it was easy for me to get my blood type from the NBSZ. All thanks to, many Zimbabweans donating this precious fluid. Indeed, you saved my life.”
After realizing the importance of blood and blood donations Constance decided to initiate a blood disorders awareness campaign.
“My campaign will impact on the following:
- Bring awareness to people that such blood conditions exist. Not just Aplastic Anemia.
- Most importantly, bring better medical facilities for people fighting blood disorders by: having ATG readily available in the pharmacies and to one day have bone marrow transplants done in Zimbabwe because I know our doctors are capable.
“I also hope to have a meeting with the minister of health to discuss this issue and to continuously encourage people to donate blood. Without that blood, I could have died. I really appreciate blood donors here in Zimbabwe and beyond. You are saving lives. You just saved mine. I really appreciate,” she added.
Link to Part one of my campaign video https://youtu.be/-T_gp0tHCdo
For any enquiries or if you want to offer help, email firstname.lastname@example.org