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Gulu blood bank struggles to raise blood amidst shortage

Some of the blood donors donating blood during

Gulu, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Gulu Regional Blood Bank is struggling to raise enough blood for hospitals and health centres in the region amidst the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.

At least 75 per cent of the blood units in the bank used to be collected from schools and other learning institutions. But the educational institutions have been closed since March 20, 2020, when the country disintegrated places with large gatherings, as one of the measures to contain the spread of coronavirus disease. 

Charles Kidega, the Focal Person in charge of blood donor recruitment from Uganda Red Cross Society told URN in an interview that the global pandemic that forced Uganda to impose a lockdown has greatly affected blood donations, leading to blood shortage at the blood bank and in hospitals. 

He added that Gulu Regional Blood Bank his now approaching potential blood donors from home to home with the help of community resource persons and the lower local council leaders. He says that although the Blood Bank used to collect an average of 80 units of blood a day before schools and institutions were closed, it can hardly collect 35 units from the community.

Gulu Regional Blood Bank supplies blood to government and private health facilities in Acholi and Lango Sub –Regions and the areas of Kiryandongo and Adjumani. 

Dr Kenneth Cana, the In-Charge of Awach Health Centre IV in Gulu district says that health workers are also sensitizing the community and encouraging them to donate blood, whenever they get an opportunity.

Pece Division Councillor Francesca Amony says that majority of the community members are shunning away from donating blood because of the fear that their bodies need blood to battle COVID -19 in case they get infected.

Amony appealed to the community members to be kind, donate blood and save lives. 

Among the patients who require blood transfusion are children with anaemia, expectant mothers, accident victims and those who undergo operations of any kind.

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