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UDB Rallies Workers To Donate Blood


The scarcity of blood at health facilities and blood banks is blamed for the extortion of patients in need of transfusion at some health facilities.

However, Franco Ariho, from Mengo Hospital Rotary Blood Bank explained that most of the complaints about selling blood at health facilities are untrue and out of ignorance on the part of the public.

Ariho said some health facilities take advantage of the shortage of blood to illegally demand payment from uninformed and desperate patients.

He was speaking at the launch of a blood donation camp hosted by Uganda Development Bank, in partnership with insurance company Minet and telecommunications infrastructure company ATC.

He said that unfortunately, some people don’t like making formal complaints either for fear of possible backlash from the hospitals or cannot name the culprit.

He said there are ways that the aggrieved patient can reach out to the blood bank, especially by asking for a referral to the Blood Bank to look for blood.

Ariho says that this referral can act as evidence that someone is trying to cheat. He calls on the public to be aware of their rights and report such cases to help the authorities crack on the illegal practice.

The drive primarily targets staff from partner companies and other corporations but also appeals to the public to join in and donate blood.

Ariho said that some hospitals, especially private ones make charges related to the administration of the transfusion and the process costs some money, which the patients sometimes mistake as buying blood.

Uganda collects about 300,000 units of blood a year, but this is much less than the recommended levels by the World Health Organisation.

WHO recommends that a country should collect at least 1 percent of the country’s population, meaning about 500,000 litres for Uganda.

Mengo Hospital and Minet are the technical partners in this initiative which is part of a broader effort to increase the availability of safe blood across the nation.

Speaking during the launch, Dorothy Ssemanda, Chief Executive Officer of ATC Uganda, emphasized the importance of safe and sufficient blood supplies in saving lives.

She rallied her peers to join in and support blood donation drives because it can only be obtained from donations by people.

Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Joshua Mwesiga, said corporations or businesses have the duty of ensuring healthy a population if the businesses have to thrive.

He said that access to safe blood in Uganda is crucial for maternal and neonatal care as well as for treating patients injured in emergencies such as accidents.


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