Testimonials

Christine Shaamano

 

My name is Christine Shaamano, I started donating blood when I was a school girl, way back when I used to stay in Zambia.  At first I donated blood for fun so that I could be given a tin of tinned fish which was something special to a school girl in a boarding school. As a student we used to donate once during the school term. Then one day about a month after donating, the headmaster called me to his office and introduced me to visitors in his office. They were from the NBTS and they were asking 4 my blood because somebody urgently needed my blood. My headmaster had initially refused to let them talk to me but after they assured him that I was going to be ok, he then allowed them to see me. That day I gave donated another unit of blood. They left a message with my headmaster that if I have any health complications he must urgently call NBTS.

 

During the school holiday we had four visitors at our home whom we had never met before. I was doing my laundry when my mother called me to greet the visitors as per tradition. A man who was with the visitors introduced himself and the people he was with. To my surprise he had come to thank me for saving his family’s lives, these were both his wife and the unborn baby who had been in danger and desperately needed blood.

  The unit of blood which I gave saved their lives because they had failed to get the blood group which matched the wife’s. The husband offered to give me some token of appreciation but my mother refused and told the man that she had 7 daughters and if one of them faced the same situation she would not be able to do what they done. She said the fact that they had taken the trouble to look for the donor was enough gratitude.

 From that moment I have donated blood not in return for a tin of fish but to save a life. Let us donate blood, other women somewhere needs it. Come to think of it ladies, we need more blood than our male counterparts because we undergo difficult births, operations, involved in accidents etc. Somebody in one of the country’s hospitals is dying because of lack of your blood. Are you going to let another woman and child die when u can help? Remember the life you save might be yours, your relative’s or even your child’s.

Today I have given more than 100 donations because blood is indeed a precious gift of life.

Advocate Rodgers Matsikidze

 

My story to be a blood donor began way back after I had witnessed a road traffic accident near Mushandikwe Secondary School which is a high school where I did my secondary education. Later, I learnt that those people who had been injured will require a blood transfusion and immediately I started to wonder, asking my myself where will they get this blood. That is when I realized that there was an organization back then which was known as the Blood Transfusion Service Zimbabwe (NBTSZ).

One day NBTS (as it was known back then) came at our school and I was one of the first students to be at the mobile clinic curious to know more about giving blood. I was told that if I donated my blood it means that I will be saving somebody’s life, & this blood will go towards accident victims like the one you witnessed. Those people were saved by somebody who donated their blood. Immediately I decided that I will want to do this. I was pleased to learn that I could donate blood even when I’m an adult for as long as you are healthy. Instantly I was recruited and ever since then I have been a regular blood donor. I won’t be stopping anytime soon because my target is to give over a 100 donations.

 

By Christina Nyirenda-Chimuka

 It was a bitterly cold day in July of 2016, when my doctor advised us that in order for me to survive I needed to have a blood transfusion. This news dealt a heavy blow to my family and I as I had endured a very traumatic few days after an operation that somehow went wrong. My life was in danger and I was hanging on by a thread. Initialling, my family were apprehensive about the prospect of blood transfusions, and so was I. After a few hours of my family discussing the way forward it was finally decided that there was no other way but to have the blood transfusion. My brother in law who is also a medical doctor assured my family that National Blood Services Zimbabwe provides the best and safest blood products that he knows in Southern Africa. My condition was getting worse and after the necessary preparations my blood transfusions began. It was a long and unnerving night for me as pint after pint the blood was transfused into my weak body, but as the saying goes “joy comes in the morning”. As the last pint was finished I was tired but revived. I was alive and started my journey of recovery. My heartfelt gratitude goes to the blood donors for their selfless sacrifices. My life was saved by people I do not even know and I am eternally grateful. Thank you to National Blood Services Zimbabwe for the sterling work that you are doing to save lives!

One day NBTS (as it was known back then) came at our school and I was one of the first students to be at the mobile clinic curious to know more about giving blood. I was told that if I donated my blood it means that I will be saving somebody’s life, & this blood will go towards accident victims like the one you witnessed. Those people were saved by somebody who donated their blood. Immediately I decided that I will want to do this. I was pleased to learn that I could donate blood even when I’m an adult for as long as you are healthy. Instantly I was recruited and ever since then I have been a regular blood donor. I won’t be stopping anytime soon because my target is to give over a 100 donations.

 

Pauline Matambanadzo – Blood Recipient

 

No greater love

Our first assump­tion even when we are chil­dren is that we will grow up. Second assump­tion is that we will get mar­ried, have children and live happily ever after.  Even when we live with a sick relative or an ailing neighbour, we never stop to think that that person’s reality is a possible variation of the assumptions we make.

That this ailing person might not see the grand age of 18, for instance. I remem­ber in high school there was this stunning girl — I will just call her SK. She had poise way beyond her years, more clothes and “stuff” than any 10 of us put together. She was the life of the party, poised and basically lived an apparently charmed life. We all thought she would be someone, go places, do great things and live on an even grander scale than what she did in high school. But she died a few months into our Lower Sixth year. Neither medicine nor money could save her. She needed several organ transplants, and it just could not be done. We were heartbroken, shocked and frightened. Our lives moved on and I almost forgot about her.

 

Vague memories would come here and there whenever I created a couture gown for some fashion model or pageant contestant. Or when I indulged in my version of a flat shoe — the stiletto. But I really remembered  her when one day, after arriving fashionably late for church (as in, making a grand entrance), dressed in a pretty nifty black and white number that was deliciously co-ordi­nated right down to the two-tone D&G shoes, Hermes bag, gloves and fan. No less than 20 minutes into the service I started nose bleeding all over my black-and-white­ness! I started shaking and eventually col­lapsed and wound up in hospital. Two days later I came to, groggy and weak and still in hospital. The whites of my eyes were purplish red, broken veins in my eyelids and on almost every other body surface was black and blue as if I had been in the ring with Mohammed Ali, Tyson and Sugar Ray! The physician said if I didn’t get plasma (what makes up 50 per­cent of blood) I wouldn’t live. I didn’t know how I was to get the said six pints of plasma which at the time cost a lot of money that I didn’t even have.

So I assumed this would be the end for me. I first made arrangements as to who would look after my two boys, what would happen to my assets — in short saying goodbye world. But my best friend, a blood donor from my family, came through for me and I got the life-saving fluid. I have never looked so lovingly at anything as I did the yel­lowish, fatty-looking frozen plasma being fed into me via I.V. over the next nine days.

Needless to say I am still standing. I don’t make so many assumptions as I used to. I don’t take people and things for granted as before.
I make more time for living, loving and sharing than before. I recently found out that it takes about 13 pints of blood to extract six pints of plasma. That’s at least 13 people or blood donors who saved my life. I don’t know them, but I will always pray for them and all donors. And I will never forget my school­mate SK.

As a blood recipient, I am appealing to all healthy people to take time and give blood.  To those of you who can, please support the fund-raising banquet that is set for Novem­ber 15 2012 at the Rainbow Towers.

 You can also make a difference by donating towards the distress fund and help those needy persons who require blood to get another chance to life. I am alive today because of blood donors who have pledged to save lives. I also want to save a life by encouraging peo­ple to donate blood and being part of the NBSZ activities.

 One day NBTS (as it was known back then) came at our school and I was one of the first students to be at the mobile clinic curious to know more about giving blood. I was told that if I donated my blood it means that I will be saving somebody’s life, & this blood will go towards accident victims like the one you witnessed. Those people were saved by somebody who donated their blood. Immediately I decided that I will want to do this. I was pleased to learn that I could donate blood even when I’m an adult for as long as you are healthy. Instantly I was recruited and ever since then I have been a regular blood donor. I won’t be stopping anytime soon because my target is to give over a 100 donations.

My name is Glyn Germyn, I was born in Gweru in 1948 and I have been in Zimbabwe all my life since birth. What motivated me to become a blood donor was the inspiration I got from my sister who was already a committed regular donor. She would tell me of the good feeling she felt especially after donating blood, knowing that her blood was definitely going to save a life in desperate need of it. For me this was fascinating until one day I decided to accompany her to the bloodbank and when I saw how simple the process was, I quickly joined in and gave my first donation. I became a blood donor in 1973 and I haven’t stopped since then. I have so far given 248 donations.

My experience as a blood donor has been wonderful and memorable. I’ve enjoyed the warmth, comfort and professionalism of NBSZ staff and above all I’ve enjoyed the exalted feeling that I have felt after every blood donation of knowing that a life is going to be saved by my selfless sacrifice.

Being a blood donor for such a long time hasn.t affected my life in any way. Contrary to myths and beliefs out there about blood donation that I have heard where some people claim that if you give blood your body won’t be able to replenish that blood, some claim your immune system will be weak and many other funny unfounded stories, I want to emphasize that nothing of that sort is true as I am a living testimony. Virtually nothing has changed in my life, I’m still healthy and functioning normally after almost 50 years living a lifestyle of giving blood. I work at Convent Girls High School as a physical education teacher and coach. Donating blood has not even affected how I perform at work, in fact it has seen me become a motivator to many young girls who most of them have since joined me in this noble cause. While at home I am able to do all my household chores, I eat normally and sleep peacefully like a log.

I would like to take this opportunity and thank the government for the Free blood initiative which has made blood accessible to all Public Health Institutions free of charge. This is a motivation to all of us as Zimbabweans as no life should be lost because of blood shortages. This is now a challenge to us all, lets support the blood donation programme, it is ours to succeed.

I particularly want to encourage women and young girls to actively take up blood donation because about 50% of the blood in the bloodbank goes to maternal health related cases. Let’s donate blood as much as we consume it. I hope my experience and testimony is reason eno ugh to motivate someone out there. Give blood because it really saves lives.

Glyn Germyn

Living Healthy after receiving a blood Transfusion

We are now in the winter season which is the coolest time on our calendar but also a season known when people are more vulnerable to colds. This in turn can make a blood donor not be eligible to give blood because flue is a virus that is found in blood. Even donors who are on medication can not donate.

My name is Pauline Matambanadzo, I am a blood recipient, I received six units of blood when I … Today I will share on healthy living and keeping fit so that we don’t miss out that valuable donation this winter season. As soon as I was discharged from hospital I wanted give blood too but unfortunately I couldn’t because I’m anaemic, a health condition that does not allow me to donate blood.

After receiving a transfusion, I managed to continue with my normal lifestyle and have been living a healthy life style that has helped keep fit and well. Keeping improves my blood quality and my lungs are better capacitated. It also enhances my body’s ability to resist diseases. What you do in exercise reflects on your level of discipline you have on your day to day living and work areas.

It also relates to how you interact with other people, you are not prone to mood swings, panic, temper, tantrums and all that because you are a person who is used to routine, specific regimen, and discipline. Stress levels are always reduced which means the heart is at less risk and lungs are stronger and more functional. Lungs will always be primed up to absorb the highest level of oxygen pass it through and process it for respiration. Do excises routinely until they become a habit.

Did you know that exercising early in the morning is the best time because the air will be still be very fresh and there is less pollution of it.

Healthy eating is also very necessary to me and even to you as a blood donor because of various health related reasons. One should be able to maintain a balanced diet and it will keep your body properly nutritioned. I take lots of fluids and these fluids have a lot of vitamins in them, this helps boost the immune system.

Taking fruits is another necessary element of a diet. Garlic thins out your blood so it should be taken in small quantities and its better when cooked than raw. It can also cause your body to fail to cloat blood because the fibrinogene in the blood will be affected. Ginger is very healthy and even herbal teas. All this help flash out bad toxins, cleans and primes blood to receive oxygen.

A serving of legumes once a week helps with stomach cramps and catching a cold especially in women it helps in pre menstrual stress. When one catches a cold you can cut an onion into four pieces, boil it for 15minutes and when it turns milky, you then drink the residue. If this is done once a week one would not catch a cold easily.

Blood giving is a good necessary lifestyle that a body adapts to because of regular donations, so the moment you don’t give blood you are killing a necessary habit good for the body and for the nation as well. Giving blood initiates good habits that other than leading a low risk lifestyle makes stay healthy and fit.

  

Pauline Matambanadzo

My journey as a Pledge 25 club member and blood donor: driven by the passion to save lives:

The old saying, “You can be near the church, but very far away from God” seems very fit for my life as a blood donor. I got exposed to NBSZ logos and literature at a very young age through my uncle, Peter Mukadzambo (Bless his soul) who was a Blood Donor Recruiter at NBSZ then NBTS. Years later, my brother Tinashe Mukadzambo began to talk about donation and the Club, but it still made little sense to me.

The 10th of June 2003 at Dzivaresekwa high 1 my journey began with my first blood donation. In 2005 during my long holiday, awaiting O level results I learnt about Pledge 25 Club through a neighbour. After attending one of the Club meetings, I decided to be a full time volunteer. After the third Zone meeting, my interest developed into an unexplainable passion. Because of my zeal and interest, I was elected as Dzivarasekwa Zone Secretary in 2006. In 2007 I was elevated to Chairperson of the Zone. In 2008 I was voted in as the Harare Branch Chairperson, and ultimately as P25 Club National Secretary General. I served in this capacity for 3 consecutive years (2009-2012).

My reasons for giving blood was not for recognition, prestige or personal gain. If it was for recognition I would have stopped when my term as the Club Secretary General ended. If it was for personal gain I would have stopped the day I lost my mother to lack of blood. Rather, the sad experience fired me on. I had lost a mother, but not everyone else so I had to save those lives still remaining.

Was it a smooth experience? One may ask. No it was not rosy all the way. Working towards targets is not easy, worse still recruiting youth in these horrible times of HIV and AIDS is even harder. One will start the how big the needle is sermon, why blood is sold, what the bible say about blood donation, how people react from transfusion, how busy they are to spare 20 minutes to donate blood. The hardest of all was the general misconception in the youths of this era where it is believed that sex is love.

Though it was not smooth I graduated from being recruited to be a recruiter, motivated to be a motivator and above all a life skills coach. How so? I used to tag along the then Customer Relations Officers when they visited the blood donor collection sites such as schools, churches and community groups. Then one day I volunteered to speak to girls only at Langham high and surprised them with a brilliant question and answer session. That is when I discovered my hidden skills in coaching the youth, particularly the girl child.

It was and still is my wish to see more female donors graduate in the Pledge 25 Club. I was challenged when I learnt that few ladies fulfil their pledge. The major reason why ladies do not make it to 25 donations, I figured, is what they do in relationships or the people they get involved with in those relationships. They will be on different wave length with their partners and in the end women give up. For example I know of a friend and fellow office bearer, who initially had the same commitment as mine to get to 25 donations. Sadly, her then boyfriend who was not a blood donor was not comfortable with her coming to youth functions. He asked her to choose between him and the Club, and for my friend the boyfriend carried the day. To date she still has 4 donations and no longer keen to donate.

With me it was a different story, I was blessed with a perfect partner ‘Liberty Chimedza’ who supported me all the way. He had once or twice donated for refreshments but when he spotted my passion he opted to be a regular blood donor right away. To date he has 14 donations, and still counting. I am proud to say I made it to 25 donations because of him.

It was always my dream to graduate from the club before marriage. As women it is in a way difficult to fulfil our pledge once married because of what is expected of us, things like pregnancies and breastfeeding which make us ineligible to donate. The other reason is the competition blood donation suffers with other chores in the new role. The new roles of being a mother, housewife, and at times worker tend to push blood donation to the bottom of the to-do-list.

Then the most memorable coincidence in my life happened. What had always been dreams became a double reality within hours of each other. I gave my 25th donation, my last milestone, on August 4 2014. The 25th award ceremony where I got my treasured Certificate and plaque happened coincidentally on my wedding eve the 29th of August. My Pledge 25 graduation and my wedding were exactly 12 hours apart!

Being a blood donor tells a story about one’s life. I attribute my current status as a happily married woman to the role that being a blood donor played in my life. Being a blood donor helped me cross the flooded river where most girls got swept away. I am happy to say am safely on the other side. As long as I am eligible to donate NBSZ is assured of my unit, in fact they will be two on each visit.

Former Pledge 25 Club Zimbabwe Secretary General

Nomusa Isabel Mukadzambo

There are incidences in life which strike when we least expect them. In most instances these developments often leave their victims isolated, devastated, and at times hostile to family members, friends and even work mates. We read of sad scenarios in the newspapers where people commit suicide after having tested HIV positive and /or develop a reckless life style which does not only endanger immediate family members but the community at large. We also read of instances where victims of road traffic accidents or cancer are abandoned by their spouses, neglected by family or lose their jobs after having lost a limb/s.

 However, other victims quickly come to terms with the new reality on the ground such that it becomes a lot easier for family and friends to lend a supporting hand. In this scenario victims often live longer because of this positive life approach.

 After having fallen victim to a near fatal road traffic accident where I ended up receiving 6 units of safe blood and my left arm amputated just above the elbow, I later realized that God has a master plan for everyone of us, ending one’s own life is not God’s plan, in fact it is a sin to terminate one’s own life-

For it is written “thou shall not kill”

 I thank God for giving me a second chance in life. After realizing the importance of giving blood voluntarily I am now a regular blood donor and the experience has given so many friends. The many friends include individuals, clubs, associations, companies and religious groups. This has helped my healing process.

Among the many friends I now have, is  National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) , I did not only receive safe blood from the national blood bank through Chitungwiza  Central Hospital- but NBSZ also sponsored the purchase of my artificial limb on December 28, 2011. (see picture) .

Had it not been because of this timely intervention by Dr Obediah Moyo the Chitungwiza Central Hospital CEO in conjunction with NBSZ, I would have been history.  After having been given a second chance by God The Almighty, I am a changed person, I value other people’s lives, I value friendship, I value family and giving. You can also do the same.

The NBSZ is a non profit making organization whose thrust in the next three years is to improve blood collections nationwide, improve donor retention and to increase access to blood and blood products. To achieve this, the NBSZ management has determined a fund raising target of approximately $1million for the year 2012.

They are appealing to you as an individual, organization, the corporate world for support in establishing a Distress Fund to help pay blood for needy patients and other essentials that will improve the affordability and accessibility of life saving blood to everyone in need of blood and blood products throughout the country.

As a blood recipient and now blood donor I would like to thank all voluntary blood donors for saving thousands of lives including mine.

The Bible states (Proverbs 22 Vs 1) “If you have to choose between a good reputation and great wealth, choose a good reputation”. Verse 29 further states that: “Show me someone who does a good job and I will show you someone who is better than most and worthy of the company of kings”.

Dear reader, show Zimbabwe your good reputation and be worthy of the company of kings, NBSZ Distress Fund can only be a reality through your worthy reputation.        

By Emmanuel Nyamande

Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person, the gift of life.  Have you ever imagined women with complications of pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and hemorrhage before, during or after childbirth; All of us, no matter how big or how small, whether male or female, we all owe our lives to a woman and yet a lamentable number of mothers are losing life when giving life. We can be heroes of our own society without having to part with a dime. Tragedies like accidents and illness can happen to anyone hence it’s important to do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. I strongly believe in my calling as a life saver, both physically and spiritually and you too can be a life saver through supporting the National Blood Service Zimbabwe in their fundraising activities.

I will be performing at the “Partners For Life” Fundraising Banquet on 29 March.  Make a difference, buy a ticket and let’s partner together in this very noble cause.

By Fungisai Zvakavapano - Mashavave

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