Blood Transfusion Service Struggles to Get Donors in Hoima

Uganda Blood Transfusion Service-UBTS is struggling to get blood donors in Hoima region.

Hoima region supplies blood to 18 health facilities, among them; Hoima Regional Referral Hospital, Kagadi Hospital, Buliisa Hospital, Kiboga Hospital, Masindi Hospital, Kibaale Hospital, Kikuube Health Centre IV, Ntwetwe Health Centre IV in Kyankwanzi district, Kituti Health centre IV in Kikuube district and St Ambrose Health Centre IV in Kagadi district.   

Others are Kakumiro Hospital, Masindi Kitara Health Centre IV, Azur Health Centre IV in Hoima, Bwijanga and Kinyara health Centre IVs in Masindi, Kigorobya health Centre IV and Butemba Health Centre IV in Kyankwanzi district, among others.   

Henry Benda, the Senior Health officer at Uganda Blood Transfusion Service in the region says that they used to collect 1,250 Units of blood from donors from the Albert regio, on a monthly basis, before the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease in Uganda. However, it has now become a nightmare, mainly students who contribute 90 per cent of the donated blood have been sent home.

Benda says they need 200 units of blood every week to serve patients in the various health facilities in the region. Last week, they were able to get 40 units of blood, just a drop in the ocean given the increasing demand for blood transfusion.

Benda Urged Ugandans who are not regular blood donors to consider doing so in order to solve the scarcity of blood in Hospitals.  

He says the most blood consumers are patients suffering from sickle cell anaemia, cancer, Pregnant mothers, and accident victims. 

According to Benda, donated blood only lasts for 35 days while the platelets from blood last only 5 days, which implies that the blood bank must replenish its stock often. A staff at Hoima Regional Referral hospital who spoke to Uganda Radio Network on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press said even at the hospital there is facing an acute blood shortage.

Uganda needs at least 400,000 units of blood every year.  

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