Morocco’s national blood reserves are in bad shape. As of Friday, October 15, the country had 3,054 bags of blood at the national level, the equivalent of 3 to 4 days of consumption. Several factors are behind this shortage of blood in Morocco from which the CNTSH has suffered since the start of the pandemic.
The Covid-19, teleworking, school holidays, elections, going back to school, vaccination … These are all factors that have undermined the national blood reserves, explains Dr. Khadija Lahjouji, Director of the National Blood Transfusion Center and of hematology (CNTSH), which hopes to raise awareness about donating blood for the common good.
” Blood donation is possible, despite the pandemic and despite the vaccination. This is what we have been telling citizens since the start of the pandemic, reassuring them that all health measures have been taken for their safety, whether at the level of transfusion centers, blood banks or at the level of mobile units that are open and well equipped and only waiting for donors“, Confides the director of the CNTSH.
That said, the lack of donors is still visible at the level of its structures to believe the situation of stocks which is critical., underlines Dr. Lahjouji. “We are between 3 to 4 days of blood consumption. To cover the national need, we need more than 1,000 donors per day (1,000 blood bags), whereas we currently receive between 600 and 700 donors maximum / day ”, says the director of the CNTSH.
Morocco has 18 regional centers. Each region has one or two blood transfusion centers in addition to blood banks and transfusion antennas, she explains, which is more than enough for those who wish to donate their blood and save lives. .
But the problem still persists. Donors are becoming increasingly rare in these times of pandemic, as explained by Dr. Lahjouji, more than a month ago, during an interview. In addition to their unavailability, they naturally ask themselves several questions in this pandemic context, in particular the eligibility for blood donation after vaccination or after the contraction of Covid-19.
Blood can be donated after the vaccine and contamination
The CNTSH has a scientific committee that closely follows the news of the international scientific community and the recommendations of international bodies including the WHO, says Dr. Lahjouji.
Something that allowed the CNTSH to develop an information note relating to the eligibility criteria for blood donation after Covid-19 vaccination, on January 6, even before the launch of the national vaccination campaign.
The note of January 6, intended for managers of regional blood transfusion centers and blood banks, took into consideration the different technical platforms used for the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines as well as the vaccines adopted, at the time, by Moroccan authorities, namely the Sinopharm vaccine, which is an inactivated vaccine, and Astrazeneca, which is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine.
Today, and after the introduction of new vaccines in Morocco, the CNTSH has drawn up a second note intended for the same officials in order to prevent them that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson and Johnson vaccines follow the same donation eligibility criteria. blood as the Sinopharm and Astrazeneca.
There are nevertheless indications to be followed by those in charge, as mentioned in the second note which was sent to them recently. ” Before donating blood, the donor must observe a postponement period of 7 days after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine in the absence of adverse effects and 7 days after resolution of symptoms in the event of the development of adverse effects. This applies both after receiving the first dose of the vaccine and after receiving the second dose.“, Specifies the CNTSH in its note.
For people who have contracted the coronavirus and wish to donate blood, Dr. Khadija Lahjouji assures us that the person can donate blood 28 days after recovery, without any risk to their health or that of the recipient.