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Blood bank suffers shortage of reagents


Ntsoaki Motaung

Lesotho Blood Transfusion Service (LBTS) ran out of reagents to test donated blood, the service’s principal laboratory technologist, Khotso Kalake has confirmed to Newsday.

Kalake said this happened between May 22 and June 5, this year, because the supplier delayed delivering their order for the reagents.

Blood grouping reagents are used to determine the presence or absence of rare antigens on human red blood cells.

“We order reagents from National Drug Service Organization (NDSO) and they order them from their supplier from overseas,” Kalake said.

“They (NDSO) placed their order in time at the beginning of this financial year, but the delay was on the part of the supplier who delayed to deliver,” he added.

He indicated that things were now back to normal as the reagents were received in early June.

“At the time when we did not have reagents, we did not entirely stop working. We got help from other laboratories who lent us theirs and we, therefore, managed to continue with work. However, our work was slightly slowed down,” he said.

Kalake denied the allegations that some blood had gone to waste because it expired and there was no way it could still be used.

“There was no blood which was wasted. Donated blood can take up to 35 days before we can say it has expired. In this case, we only took 15 days without reagents and we continued to work even though it was at a slow pace so there was no blood wasted,” he explained.

This comes after the LBTS celebrated World Blood Donor Day on June 14 in Maseru under the theme “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often.”

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