KAMPALA —The National Women’s Council (NWC) is leading a blood donation to drive mobilize up to 1000 blood units as part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
NWC chairperson Hajat Faridah Kibowa who personally donated blood at one of the collection centres in Kampala said blood shortage is a serious health problem requiring urgent and collective effort.
She said blood shortage is resulting in several avoidable deaths caused by conditions related to the shortage of blood including heavy bleeding in women after childbirth.
The blood collected through the drive is dedicated to expectant mothers and those in labor, Hajat Kimbowa said.
Similar blood donation campaigns have so far been conducted at Mini Price, Old Taxi Park, Single Military Barracks and St. Balikuddembe Market in Kampala.
The exercise aimed at increasing the supply of emergency blood following repeated cries for blood by blood banks and health facilities.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Uganda has an annual demand of about 340,000 units of blood, but falls short by over 100,000 units.
The Organisation recommends that 1 per cent of blood be collected annually from the population.
Last year, only 260,000 units were collected against a targeted 340,000 units in Uganda.
Blood donors can still donate at the national blood bank in Nakasero and at UBTS regional offices in Gulu, Arua, Fortportal, Mbale, Mbarara, Masaka.
NWC is an autonomous body, established by the National Women’s Council ACT 1993 (cap 318) is conducting blood donation campaigns alongside sensitizing women about it’s roles among other things.
According to the Health Ministerial Policy Statement for the Financial Year 2021/2022, it is estimated that 8,400 mothers are referred to regional referral hospitals annually because local health centers lack the capacity to perform obstetric care as they cannot transfuse blood.
The ministry said it is looking for 2.2 billion Ugandan shillings (nearly $620,000) to install blood fridges in 89 local health centers across the country.
Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said in a media interview recently that her ministry is doing its best to see that there is enough blood at all hospitals in Uganda, although it faces some challenges like inadequate funding.