In a bid to improve the blood processing and storage, MTN Uganda Foundation has Monday handed over blood processing and storage equipment to the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS).
The equipment comprising of an automatic blood plasma extractor machine and three refrigerators was handed over to Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health in a ceremony held at the UBTS headquarters in Kampala.
This follows MTN’s pledge in July when it availed Shs347m to procure the equipment.
The automated plasma extractor will be stationed at the Nakasero Blood Bank while the three blood storage fridges will be delivered to the regional referral hospitals in Mbarara, Mbale and Arua.
It is also important to note that, the Mbarara Regional blood bank already received its refrigerator last week, whereas Mbale and Arua are set to receive theirs in due course.
While handing over the equipment, Ms. Enid Edroma, the General Manager, MTN Corporate Services reiterated the telecommunication’s commitment to supporting government’s push towards meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goal No.3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages.
“We are proud of this partnership with the UBTS and the Ministry of Health in completing efforts to make available this scarce resource of blood,” Said Edroma.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Dr. Gilbert Sande a laboratory scientist and logistics officer at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services noted that the blood component extractor would be used for processing of blood to extract components of red and white blood cells and platelets for Nakasero blood bank.
“The old machine was manual, laborious and could process one unit of blood in hours. This new machine from the MTN Foundation is automatic and processes a unit of blood in less than 10 minutes.
That means we shall be able to get more components to save patients, especially the cancer patients who need platelets the most.”
The MTN Foundation has undertaken to support a number of government health initiatives: Early this Month, the Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ministry of Health unveiled their progress of the plans to implement maternal health projects to a tune of Shs1.33 billion.
While Shs 600 million was raised from the 2018 MTN Kampala and Regional Marathons, the other half is a top up from the MTN Foundation.
The funds are being used to complement efforts by the Ministry of Health to improve service delivery in 5 Health Centre IV facilities across Uganda including Muyembe HC IV in Bulambuli district, Pakwach HC IV in Pakwach district, Kalangala HC IV in Kalangala district, Karugutu HC IV in Ntoroko district and Kawempe Women and Children Hospital in Kampala.