NSSF, UBTS in countrywide blood donation drive to raise 4,500 units
KAMPALA January 08, 2018:- The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in partnership with Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) under the Ministry of Health have today kicked off the six-day Annual NSSF Blood Donation Drive aimed at collecting 4,500 units of blood in response to a nationwide appeal for safe blood.
The drive will take place from 8th to 13th January at Workers House, Constitutional Square, Queens Way –Katwe, Mukwano Arcade, and NSSF Kampala branches in Kireka, Mukono, Kawempe, Bakuli, Bugolobi and Entebbe. Outside Kampala, the drive will take place in major regional towns of Mbale, Mbarara, Gulu ,Arua, Fort Portal, Jinja, Mukono ,Kabale, Masaka as well as NSSF branches in the respective towns.
Addressing media at the launch of the drive at Constitutional Square, Richard Byarugaba, NSSF Managing Director, said, “Through this drive, we would like to sensitize communities where we will be, about blood donation and its benefits to help us raise our target of 4,500 units, ultimately increasing the number of blood donors countrywide.”
According to World Health Organization, (WHO), Uganda needs about 340,000 units of blood annually although less than 200,000 units are collected annually. It should be noted that only 1% of Uganda’s population that is eligible to donate blood regularly do so, causing blood shortages.
Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, the Executive Director at UBTS said that the lowest collections were experienced in Fortportal, Kabarle, Mbarara and sections of Mbale, despite large populations in these towns.The low collections in these areas could be attributed to low awareness of blood donation and cultural myths about it,” she said.
“The demand was highest in the central region because of the numerous health centers that receive referrals. The highest demand for blood is usually from expectant mothers, cancer patients, HIV Positive patients, accident victims, among others. To help us close the shortage, we take up partnerships with organizations like NSSF to boost the blood collections. ” She added.
Through NSSF’s partnership with UBTS in the last six years, over 9,420 units of blood have been collected to-date.
“This year, we are positive that the collections will increase further having gotten another partner on board, Equity Bank, for the cause,” Byarugaba said. This initiative is part of Fund’s Social Responsibility agenda which is premised on supporting vulnerable members of the community as well as improving their social wellbeing.
To donate blood, a donor needs to be between the ages of 17 and 65 years, weigh above 45 kgs and must not be on medication.
8th to 10 October 2017
Blood Donation Drive at Constitution square
from 8 Am to 6 Pm
Nationwide Blood Donation Campaign To Raise 30,800 Blood Units Unveiled.
Uganda Blood Transfusion Services has partnered with 2 specialised communications agencies- The Firm and EquatorOne, to launch a nationwide blood donation and education campaign.
The 2-in-1 campaign, dubbed “77 Days of Giving Blood (#77DOGB) will run from Wednesday April 12th 2017 till Thursday July 27th 2017. The campaign aims at collecting 400 units of blood daily, nationally over the next 77 days, translating into 30,800 units of blood.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign held at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services offices in Nakasero, UBTS Director, Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune said; “Uganda’s blood collection stands at 7 whole blood units per 1,000 inhabitants which is below the WHO recommended rates of 10 whole blood units per 1,000 inhabitants or 1%. This translates into a 30% deficit”.
Uganda needs 350,000 units of blood annually but can only raise between 270,000- 300,000 units every year, leaving an annual lethal deficit of between 50,000- 100,000 units, that needs to be bridged.
Blood is critical in the care and treatment of coronary heart diseases, HIV/AIDS, perinatal conditions, malaria, road traffic accidents, cancer and sickle cells- which are some of the leading causes of death in sub-Saharan Africa- including Uganda.
“This campaign is timely; ahead of the World Blood Donor Day, on June 14th 2017 and is a reminder to all Ugandans that voluntary, unpaid blood donation is a real act of giving life – the greatest gift any person can give or receive. It is also a reminder to all Ugandans that voluntary, unpaid blood donation must be increased rapidly in order to ensure a reliable supply of safe blood for patients whose lives depend on it,” she said.
Muhereza Kyamutetera, the Executive Chairman of Kyamutetera Holdings - the parent company of The Firm and EquatorOne said the campaign is meant to whip-up national awareness about the importance of blood in healthcare and the overall achievement of National health objectives as well as cultivate a blood donating culture amongst Ugandans.
“Since blood can’t be manufactured- getting Ugandans to develop a blood donating culture is very vital to reducing these deaths. At the individual level, it is also very important to get tested and know your blood type and any blood-related conditions that you may have and how to treat them,” he said.
Kyamutetera said that the campaign has 2 components, namely;
“We will also carry out two major public blood donation events in Kampala on World Blood Donor Day, on Wednesday June 14th 2017 and Saturday July 30th 2017 as well as have targeted mobile on-site blood donation exercises focusing on large organisations as well as big events happening around the country,” he said.
On the importance of blood testing, Kyeyune said that early knowledge of one’s blood type and condition is important especially for those with the rare –ve rhesus blood types such as the O Rh negative blood which is a universal donor, but is only compatible with O-ve blood types.
“Testing allows you to proactively identify people in your networks that have compatible blood types and this often reduces risks in time of need,” she said.
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