Zimbabwe Government has said blood will now be offered free of charge to patients at public health institutions and mission hospitals with immediate effect.
The scraping of fees for the life saving commodity follows President Mnangagwa’s directive to scrap associated charges last year.
Patients had since January been paying $50 per pint down from $250 per pint.
Health and Child Care Ministry Secretary, Dr Gerald Gwinji, in an audio posted by the National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) on its micro-blogging site Twitter, said the scraping of user fees for blood takes effect on July 1 after the realisation that most patients were failing to buy it during times of need.
“Blood is a precious commodity particularly to those who need it and have been involved in road traffic accidents or mothers who are delivering and they lose a lot of blood,” he said.
“It is, therefore, critical that this commodity be available freely as quickly as possible when one needs it.
“What we have heard over the years is that due to circumstances clients or patients had to buy blood from the National Blood Services or from our institutions after they themselves would have bought it from the National Blood Services, this resulted in some patients requiring this critical commodity failing to access it and suffering adverse effects in their health.”
Dr Gwinji said his ministry had invested about $7 million to subsidise the cost of blood.