At least two children die at Kapchorwa General Hospital in Kapchorwa district every week due to lack of blood- Uganda Radio Network has learnt. The Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr. Ayubu Wangubo, says the absence of blood has hit hard the health facility, which is causing deaths to mothers and children.
“We normally loose at least one or two children out of five admitted with malaria or sickle cell anemia each week. For the mothers we are chanced we have so far lost one but we have made unnecessary referrals to Mbale Regional Referral Hospitals because we don’t have blood,” he said.
Kapchorwa General Hospital serves as the Sipi region covering the districts of Kween, Bukwo, Kapchorwa and some parts of Bulambuli. The facility gets blood from Mbale Regional Blood Bank, which Dr. Wangubo says isn’t sufficient to handle cases that require transfusion.
He says the hospital facilitates two trips to Mbale Regional Blood bank per week but they are given between three to five units of blood against the average of 15 they need.
Dr. Wangubo says the hospital has since suspended major operations, which require blood transfusion and now refer patients to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital for better management.
The nationwide lockdown because of the Covid19 pandemic, led to the closure of schools and suspension of public gatherings, which used to be the biggest source of blood collection.
This forced the managers of Mbale Regional Blood bank to resort to a door to door mobilisation campaign. Dr. Ahmed Bumba, the Director Mbale Regional Blood Bank, says their campaign yielded results but health facilities are not requesting or picking the blood.
“People have responded, they have donated blood but health facilities in Sipi and Karamoja regions are not picking blood for example I don’t remember the last time Kapchorwa and Busia health facilities requested for blood” Dr. Bumba said.
Adding that “those that come carry small coolers that cannot carry the blood they request for.” Dr. Bumba says there is enough blood at the blood bank that can take them through the entire week.