National Social Security Fund (NSSF) on Monday kicked off this year’s blood donation campaign, with hope to replenish the nation blood bank with at least 10,000 units.
The campaign, which is now an annual event for the retirement benefits body, is now being rolled out nationwide.
Speaking at the launch at Workers House in Kampala, NSSF Managing Director, drew the public attention to the dire need for blood in various hospitals in the country.
Quoting figures from the Health Ministry, Byarugaba pointed out that so far, 17% of all admitted patients who need blood, don’t get it.
“Given that blood is unique and cannot be manufactured, it therefore means that regular donations by unpaid blood donors remains the only source of sufficient, quality and safe blood. Our campaign is aimed at recruiting voluntary, unpaid blood donors across the country,” he said.
Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune, the Executive Director of the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services revealed that the nation blood bank urgently needs more blood at times like this.
“Usually we get blood from students, but at times like this when they are in holidays, we have to turn to you the adults,” she said.
“The demand from December is particularly high because of accidents and many people hospitalized because of different complications.
The donation drive according to Byarugaba, will be running starting today Monday, up on Friday January 17th January 2020 at various locations across the country.
Donation centres in Kampala have been set up at City Square, Clock Tower, Mukwano Arcade, Sekaziga House, Good Shade, Bwaise Roundabout, Workers House Lobby, William Street, Kibuye Roundabout and Nateete at Samona Building.
In Mukono, the centre is located at Sombe Supermarket and in Entebbe, at Kitooro town.
Other centres are located in major towns countrywide. These include Hoima (Katikara Market), Masaka (Kirumba TC and Katwe TC), Jinja (Central Market), Mbarara (Independence Park Grounds) and Gulu (Gulu Main Market).
In Lira the drive will take place at Alebtong Ajuri Market, Fort Portal at Mpanga Market, Bududa at Bududa Corner and in Nebbi at Pentagon Grounds.
Byarugaba said that for sustainability purposes, the NSSF Blood Donation campaign also aims at promoting a blood donation culture amongst Ugandans, thus enabling Uganda to meet the health sector’s safe blood requirements.
According to the World Health Organisation, the recommended blood collection rate is 10 whole blood units per 1,000 inhabitants.
The campaign launch also saw some blood transfusion beneficiaries recount how their lives were saved because safe blood was available in hospitals at the time of need.
Anne Ssempijja and Evelyn Awor both narrated how they developed complications during child birth and were saved by a blood transfusion at a critical moment they needed blood.
“No one can tell if I would be alive today had I not received blood in such an hour of need,” Ssempijja said.