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ACENG: Lack of policy hindering blood transfusion services

Dr Aceng

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has said that there is a need for a blood transfusion policy to regulate blood in the country.

While speaking on Thursday at the launch of the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion Congress that will be hosted by Uganda next year, Aceng said that Uganda has several blood transfusion specialists who would be vital in supporting the ministry of health to develop the policies, but they are silent.

“There was an attempt to put it in the tissue transplant bill which will soon be signed into an act, but we saw it could not fit there,” Aceng said.

She added that Uganda doesn’t have any regulatory document concerning blood to handle issues of the sale of blood by medical workers, and its availability and safety among the regions of the country.

Aceng also tasked congress to address the issue of stopping the sale of blood, wastage, and availability of safe blood mostly in hard-to-reach areas in Uganda like Karamoja, and Kisoro among others.

Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire the Executive Director of UBTS said that Uganda will host the 11th blood transfusion congress for the first time.

She said that the congress will address the issue of blood transfusion and sustainability in Africa and regulatory challenges in Uganda.

Uganda blood transfusion services is a department of the Ministry of Health responsible for all blood activities in the country.

The department is mandated to make available safe and adequate quantities of blood and its components to all hospitals in the country.

According to the World Health Organization-WHO guidelines, a country is considered self-sufficient in safe blood if it collects to the tune of 1 percent of its population.

Uganda’s population of over 45 million people and the refugee population of 1.6 million puts the demand for blood in the country at an estimated 473000 units. The conference will be running under the theme ” Safe and Sustainable Services in Africa.”

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