Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Social Security Fund this week held a five day blood donation exercise with a call to all eligible donors to join.
Richard Byarugaba, the Fund’s managing director said at the launch on January 13 that the target for this year is to collect 10, 000 units of blood to save lives. Byarugaba said 17% of the patients do not get blood in hospitals because it is not available.
“Given that blood is unique and cannot be manufactured, it therefore means that regular donations by unpaid blood donors remain the only source of sufficient, quality and safe blood. Our campaign is aimed at recruiting voluntary, unpaid blood donors across the country,” Byarugaba said.
According to data from Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, Uganda’s healthcare system uses about 1,500 units of blood daily, but only 1,250 units are collected.
“The problem of shortage can become critical especially during December and January when learning institutions are closed,” said Dorothy Kyeyune, the executive director of the UBTS.
Byarugaba said that for sustainability purposes, the NSSF Blood Donation campaign also aims at promoting a blood donation culture amongst Ugandans, thus enabling Uganda to meet the health sector’s safe blood requirements. NSSF has been doing this exercise for the last 12 years.