The Namibia Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) has still not received its reagents from the cargo consignments held at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA). The blood testing materials are yet to be found, with some of the items already expired as of September 7.
The delay has prompted NamBTS to conduct its tests manually as opposed to the normal automated process. This, however, compromises the tests. The reagents in question are used to conduct blood group testing, antenatal testing, and automated blood group tests, which are conducted on a daily basis to ensure an adequate supply of blood and blood products to patients across the country.
Automated tests automatically reject any reagents that have expired. The Manager of Marketing and Donor Relations, Zita Tobin, informed nbc News that temporary measures were put in place to procure emergency orders from various suppliers. This process, she says, also created a backlog of testing samples with additional costs. Tobin, however, stated that they are in contact with the relevant authorities with the hope of resolving the matter soon.
"The likelihood is that the reagents will be expired and unfit for use, and because it is believed that they were also not stored accordingly, to cold chain standards, they will be discarded."
Tobin added that the backlog of antenatal tests conducted over the past month led to delays in patients reports to medical centres.