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MPs make case for Shs10 billion supplementary for blood bank

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The Deputy Speaker chairing the House on Tuesday, 13 February 2024 wherein MPs pushed for a Shs10 billion boost for the blood bank

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lawmakers have tasked the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to avail a supplementary request of Shs10 billion to the National Drug Authority (NDA) to facilitate the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services to carry out blood donation activities.

Members of Parliament (MPs) were responding to a call from the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, urging them to donate blood.

He made the call in his communication during the plenary sitting on Tuesday, 13 February 2024.

“The blood bank has been out in the media calling upon people to donate blood. We are having a big shortage in the country,” said Tayebwa.

He called on the Clerk to Parliament to organise a blood donation week in Parliament, to enable MPs to participate.

“Let us donate blood and we save lives, you never who will save. I will really be grateful if you can join, I will join,” Tayebwa said.

Sarah Opendi (Indep., Tororo District Woman MP) however, said that there is an urgent need to facilitate NDA to procure reagents and storage facilities.

“Uganda Blood Transfusion Services is short by Shs10 billion and in November, they put a supplementary request which up to now has not been granted. As we speak now, they have already used all the quarter four funds, so they have no money left,” she said.

Opendi added that without the necessary equipment to preserve and store the blood, blood donation drives would not yield much.

Third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister without Portfolio, Rukia Nakadama, said she will follow up with the finance ministry to ensure that funds are committed to NDA.

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Hon. Samuel Opio, (Indep., Kole North County) said that since Parliament is the process of considering Ministerial Policy Statements, MPs should ensure that priority is given to Nakasero Blood bank to facilitate to carry out its mandate.

“Uganda needs 450,000 units of blood annually. However, we are only collecting 350,000 units, according to the United Nations. That means there is a gap of 100,000 units. Several times we have presented unfunded priorities of the blood bank, they need more staff and vehicles to facilitate their work,” he said.

Judith Achan (NRM, Nwoya District Woman MP) said that Ministry of Health should strive to ensure that all hospitals are well stocked with blood storage facilities.

“There is nowhere to keep blood, much as we try to mobilise the blood donation, storage is a challenge,” she said.

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SOURCE: Uganda Parliament

 

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