ARUA – MTN Foundation, the charity arm of MTN Uganda has supported Arua Regional Blood Bank with an Advanced Blood Storage Refrigerator.
The facility was donated by MTN to boost the blood storage capacity which has been a challenge at the regional blood bank, especially during peak blood collection periods.
The establishment serves 52 health facilities across its catchment area.
This follows an agreement between the MTN Foundation and Ministry of Health to purchase an automatic blood plasma extractor machine and three refrigerators to improve blood processing and blood storage in the four regional blood banks across the country.
The three refrigerators and one automatic blood plasma extractor machine, purchased at a cost 347 million shillings, will help improve blood storage challenges and provide support for 6,000 people with a storage capacity of 200 units of blood.
Mr. Bryan Mbasa, the Acting Senior Manager, MTN Foundation reiterated that MTN Uganda is committed to supporting the Government of Uganda’s goal of meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, at all ages.
“We are proud of this partnership with the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services and Ministry of Health in ensuring that Ugandans have access to enough blood and blood components across the country,” Mr Mbasa said.
It is expected to boost the storage capacity of the blood bank by 2700 units of blood.
With support from the government, the regional blood transfusion services establishment is stocked with other automated state of the art equipment for grouping, screening and labelling blood.
Other beneficiaries of the project include the Mbale and Mbarara Regional Blood Banks plus the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services in Nakasero, Kampala.
The Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Dr Joyce Moriku, lauded the MTN Foundation for working together with the government for the good of the people of Uganda.
“It will address the blood shortage issues that arise from lack of adequate storage of donated blood to save lives,” she said noting that “by supporting safe blood storage, more mothers will be saved since more blood will be available, thanks to this initiative.”
On his part, Dr. Isaac Atiku, the Arua Regional Blood Bank In-charge noted that the additional refrigerator from MTN will enable them to store more blood than before.
“Out of the 2000 units of blood collected every month, we were only able to store 1400 units, therefore, with this state of the art blood refrigerator, we shall be able to store an extra 720 units of blood,” said Atiku.