The military police and the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services on Monday kicked off their blood donation drive in all military police barracks.
Recently, UBTS launched a countrywide donation drive to raise over a number of blood units to save the situation.
On Monday, the military police officers were led through the requirements for blood donation by their outgoing commandant, Brig.Muzeeyi Sabiiti at the Military police barracks in Makindye.
“We need blood for pregnant mothers, accident victims and many others but there is not factory for manufacturing blood. The onus is on us to donate blood for our mothers, brothers, sons and relatives,” Brig. Sabiiti said.
He added that following the call by the Ministry of Health, they had to respond to the noble call to save lives of Ugandans.
“There was another call from the military leadership asking all the army units to participate in the call to increase blood in the country,” he said.
Sabiiti was on Sunday appointed deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP).
According to officials from Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, by the end of 2017, the country had collected only 240,000 units and this was a reduction from the previous year when they collected 260,000 units.
Dr Grace Otekat, the head of laboratories at UBTS, 20,000 units of blood are needed immediately if all hospitals are to operate. “Nakasero hospital alone is in need of 7000 units. Every day we need about 300 to 500 units for the smooth running of the hospitals.”
Uganda needs about 340,000 units of blood annually but only 200,000 units are collected according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
UBTS director Dorothy Kyeyune recently blamed the blood shortage on the festive holiday, during which she says, very few people are willing to donate blood adding that the closure of schools for holidays had affected them so much because most blood units are collected from institutions of higher learning.
UBTS spokesperson, Michael Mukundane recently said they have got many challenges during blood donation including people who refuse to donate for fear of having contaminated blood.
“We cannot operate without donors. We urge everybody not to wait for a crisis but to always step up and donate to save lives,” Mukundane said.