Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lira Regional Referral Hospital has got a blood bank. The facility was set up by the Health Ministry in partnership with Star Pharmaceutical company. The blood bank comprises an Architect i2000 Elalyasar machine that will be used for screening, testing and analyzing blood.
The blood bank is expected to serve 25 health facilities especially from within Lango sub region including two from Teso and a few from Karamoja region. Until recently, Lira Regional Referral Hospital has been relying on the blood bank at Gulu Regional Referral hospital for testing and screening blood.
The hospital, which is the largest consumer of blood and blood products, has been collecting an average of 12,000 units of blood per year instead of the target 15,000 units set by the Uganda Blood Transmission Services- UBTS. This year 14,210units of blood were collected.
The Architect i2000 Elalyasar machine will be used to screen more than one a thousand unit of blood per day. While commissioning the blood bank, the Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Acheng, emphasized the need to recruit and train more staff and motivate them in order to have a fully functional Regional blood bank.
Dr. Acheng encouraged people to continue donating blood regularly, saying the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped health workers from offering other essential medical services.
She also promised to bring more services to Lira Regional Referral Hospital. “We are committed to ensuring that many more services come here in terms of orthopaedic services, cardiac, cancer and brain services as well. That’s all in the offing and it’s for the entire nation,” she said.
Pius Atia Okello, the Acting Director Lira Regional Blood Bank, who boasts about his staffs being hard-working, promised to make the best use of the new facility to save lives.
Dr. Stephen Obbo, the Hospital’s director is excited that the challenge of lack of blood will be solved. He, however, called for responsible use of the blood that will be screened at the bank.
Lira Blood collection center, which started operating in 2014 has only 6 instead of the 8 recommended staff.