By Kudakwashe Chidziya

Old Mutual has joined the noble cause of assisting NBSZ towards setting up of a low-cost solar project by donating USD15 000. The firm through its COO, Isaih Mashinya also emphasized on the need for other companies to also support NBSZ considering how the service is critical towards saving people’s lives.

“It is a great honor to be presenting our donation to NBSZ. I am sure the solar project will ensure safe and 24/7 refrigeration of blood, blood components and other important things. We all know the service requires a functional and efficient power system. That is why we have channeled this funding towards the USD185 000 low cost solar system. As you can see a lot more is needed. We therefore encourage other companies to also donate so that the service operates efficiently,” he said.

NBSZ board chairman Rogers Matsikidze said the donation will go a long way in addressing that the organisation has been grappling with.

“Our cold chain devices in the laboratories are refrigerators, plazma freezers and platelet agitators run by electricity which when there is load shedding, we depend on generators,” Matsikidze said.

He added: “I would like to thank Old Mutual Zimbabwe for the generous donation of US$15000 towards the development of a low-cost solar energy system for the blood bank. This donation will enable us to have a source of power which is critical to maintain reliable cold chain for blood components. Your contribution will go a long way in addressing the power challenges that NBSZ faces,” he added.

The NBSZ is currently running a blood donation campaign named ‘Ngaibake’ across the country to ease blood shortages.

Old Mutual employees have voluntarily donated blood to NBSZ at the company’s Head Office in Harare.

Earlier this year, First Capital also donated a whopping USD30 000 towards the same project. However, there is still a long way to go for the project to commence. Speaking during the handover, NBSZ board chairperson bemoaned power outages which would affect the operations of the service.

“Power outages were affecting preservation of blood stocks in cold facilities and the First Capital Bank support will assist us to preserve blood stocks,” NBSZ board chairperson Rodgers Matsikidze said.

Adding to the importance of having solar generated projects, Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro said solar power generation projects had been implemented at health institutions, especially in the rural areas to improve cold-room storage

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