Dominican Government to Begin Stockpiling Blood

The large-circulation daily Diario Libre is reporting that the government of the Dominican Republic broke ground on a massive new complex which will be responsible for stockpiling and providing blood for the entire population of the country.
Red gold. 7 Dias

As Abreu Report predicted in January of this year, the Zika outbreak would lead to a collapse of the world's blood supply due to the sexually transmitted nature of the virus and its effects on maternal mortality. We wrote: 

"Most blood transfusions in the developing world, in fact, stem from complications during pregnancy, the exact same countries where the price of blood untainted by Zika promises to skyrocket. The number of women who will die because of the oncoming onslaught of Zika-related cases threatens to be catastrophic, as before this current calamity the world saw 'up to 150,000 pregnancy-related deaths each year.'4,5

The number of pregnancy-related deaths is likely to multiply, and if predictions about the spread of the Zika virus are correct, 600,000 women could lose their lives to hemorrhaging next year as the blood supply dries up. The difficulties inherent in testing for Zika mean that most poor communities will be unable to afford testing locally -- it can cost 40 US dollars to test a unit of blood -- so a transfusion of tested, imported blood from an unaffected country may cost hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars in the coming panic; an astronomical price for most of the world's poor."

The threat to the blood supply is now a global cause for alarm and could turn into one of the most serious problems this decade. Already in Texas, where local transmission won't take place until summer temperatures provide the perfect breeding conditions for the Aedes aegypti mosquito to cause local transmission, hospitals are reporting chronic shortages of blood, affecting "people who are sick, going through chemotherapy, and people who are injured."

The situation is more severe in Puerto Rico, where economic calamity and chronic shortages are compounded by an exodus of medical professionals. Already the financially-struggling US commonwealth has had to import blood from Florida, where local transmission of the Zika virus will in less than 6 months make the blood there unusable for maternal hemorrhaging transfusions.

According to Diario Libre, lack of blood represented the leading cause of death after car accidents in the Dominican Republic, and is also a leading cause of death in other tropical countries where Zika is spreading. The Zika crisis could mean that the blood shortage will become the leading cause of death in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and other regions harshly affect by the Zika virus.

The Dominican government's new hemocenter as built just in time.

Although the new Dominican hemocenter will have the capacity to store enough blood to face the coming crisis, there may not be an untainted local source from wherein to acquire that blood unless a massive drive is done in the coming months, before the summer season's uptick in mosquito breeding grounds devastates Latin America's blood supply.