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Red Cross, Bunyoro kingdom launch drive to collect 200,000 units of blood


The Uganda Red Cross Society has together with Bunyoro Kingdom launched a week-long donation drive to collect 200,000 units of blood.

The drive will see the kingdom’s subjects donate the required units.

Speaking during the function, the Omugo (the Queen) of Bunyoro Kingdom,  Margaret Karunga Adyeri rallied the subjects to embrace the drive.

“We noted a rise of deaths rising from blood shortage and we partnered with Red Cross to ensure that we raise 200,000 units of blood but also sensitize people to know the importance of donating blood,” Adyeri said.

“It is  so hurting to hear our people continue dying just because facilities did not have blood. Our people should know that donating blood helps save lives.”

The Uganda Red Cross spokesperson, Irene Nakasiita underscored the need for blood, noting that while Bunyoro needs 200,000 units of blood per year, the region only collects 140,000 units.

“This means we have a deficit in the blood needed and this means there are so many lives lost due to blood shortage. There are people who can donate blood but don’t even care. People must know the importance of blood donation,” Nakasiita said.

“We want to implore cultural , religious, political leaders and other stakeholders to join the cause of sensitizing Ugandans to understand the importance of donating blood. People must know there is not industry that manufactures  blood but we can only get blood through donation from other persons.”

Uganda has an estimated population of over 45 million but only collects an estimated amount of 300,000 units of blood annually which is far below the required amount.

The shortage of blood comes with serious consequences such as lowering survival rates for patients with severe malaria who require 29% of the blood collected currently, sickle anaemia patients who require 17%, cancer patients undergoing treatment who require 15%, accident victims who need 6% and patients who suffer cases like burns and surgical procedures who require 16%.

To donate blood, one must be between the ages of 17 and 75 years old, for first time donors, weigh a minimum of 50 kgs, they are in good health and  live a low risk lifestyle.

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