Coronavirus causes blood shortage in Azerbaijan
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a shortage of donor blood for those suffering from thalassemia, says chairman of the Azerbaijan Thalassaemia Federation Naila Guliyeva. She says that because of the pandemic, donors have stopped donating blood, and that the situation has become catastrophic and could lead to the death of those suffering from the disease.
Thalassemia is a group of genetic blood disorders found only in certain countries and regions of the world. In addition to geographical factors, the spread of this disease in Azerbaijan is also facilitated by inter-family marriages, which increase the risk of having children with thalassemia. At the moment, more than 1,500 people in the country need regular (every 2-3 weeks) blood transfusions, and donor blood should be fresh, given no more than a week prior.
“The transfusion is free. We are constantly spreading awareness about the need for donations and organizing blood donation campaigns at various organizations and companies. At the moment, because of the pandemic, mass gatherings are prohibited and it is recommended to work from home. Since the beginning of March, all previously scheduled blood donations have been canceled,” says Naila Guliyeva.
Naila Guliyeva is using social media to reach out to potential donors for help. Considering that many are simply afraid to donate blood in a pandemic, she assures that the donation procedure takes place in absolutely sterile conditions, and that it is thus impossible for them to catch coronavirus.
Official data from March 24 states that there are 72 reported coronavirus cases in Azerbaijan. One patient has died, and ten have recovered.