Health Ministry Regrets Acute Blood Shortage

what is ed visit web geneva;”>While addressing journalists at the media centre on Wednesday, the State Minister for Primary Health Care, Sarah Opendi noted that the shortage was caused by the interruptions in the supply of the kits and other testing reagents.

Opendi further noted that this situation was caused by lack of enough funds at the National Medical Stores leading to the delay in the purchase of the kits.

She therefore noted that the ministry through the National Blood Transfusion Service has intensified blood collection and testing services to increase the current low stock of blood throughout the country stressing that the situation is under control.

“A consignment of testing kits arrived in the country on May 24 and has already been delivered to Nakasero blood bank headquarters and the regional blood banks that use automated blood testing system,”’ stressed Opendi.

She further stressed that an emergency arrangement had been made to test blood from 4 regional blood banks of Arua, Gulu, Kitovu and Fort Portal at Nakasero and Mbarara blood banks.


She therefore called upon people “not to worry because all the blood is safe and free from infections.”

“All blood goes through rigorous testing exercise that involves checking for transfusion transmissible infections before being distributed to hospitals,’’ stressed Opendi.


The blood shortage has sparked fury and concerns in the country, with legislators urging government to close down Nakasero Blood Bank for failure to have safe and treated blood.

The work of the Blood Bank is to distribute safe blood and if it does not have it, why shouldn’t it close shop?” wondered Bayiga.

“It’s the responsibility of this government to ensure that the national blood bank has enough treated blood for the safety of its people,” Lulume told journalists at the DP party headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday.

He further noted that during a recent visit by the opposition Members of parliament to the Eastern region, it was discovered that most hospitals lacked blood, leading to high mortality rates.

Mukono MP, Betty Nambooze, says Uganda has for several weeks been grappling with acute blood shortage after running out of testing Kits in the Blood Bank.

“There is no single blood unit available to give patients in critical condition and this includes Mulago Referral Hospital, which marks the worst blood shortage in the country ever,” says Namboole.

“The fact is that there are thousands of units of blood in the Blood Bank but the country run out of testing kits which are supplied by National Medical Stores,” added the legislator.

“Blood is not just got from a donor and transfused into the body of a recipient but needs to be processed first. It costs $80 which is about Shs 200,000 to process one unit of blood and a referral hospital on average needs about 50 units that costs Shs 10,000,000 to process, to run a safe week, this is what Uganda cannot afford,” added Nambooze.

“The issue now is not the blood but the testing kits and donating blood at the moment would be futile because it may not be used unless testing kits are availed. The testing kits are imported from Germany and if an order was placed today they would be delivered in three months.”

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