Bunyoro queen rallies subjects to collect 200,000 units of blood

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Bunyoro queen rallies subjects to collect 200,000 units of blood
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The Omugo (the Queen) of Bunyoro Kingdom,  Margaret Karunga Adyeri has asked subjects to donate blood to help save lives.

Speaking during a donation drive organised by Bunyoro Kingdom and Uganda Red Cross Society, the Omugo said ahead of the coronation anniversary set for June ,11, they want to collect at least 200,000 units of blood.

"We noted a rise in  deaths arising from blood shortage. We therefore partnered with our people to ensure that we rise the 200,000 units of blood but also sensitize people to know why it is important to donate blood.When you donate blood, you have saved a life that you may not even know" Omugo said.

"It's so hurting to hear that our people continue dying, just because facilities did not have blood. For I  know our people in Bunyoro are healthy, and have the capacity to donate blood. We need to do is to let them know why they have to donate blood. Are you happy to see mothers or accident victims die as you have plenty of blood? This is the time to save them."

Irene Nakasiita, the Uganda Red Cross spokesperson  said while Bunyoro needs over 200, 000 units of blood per year, the region only collects between 120,000 to 140,000 units.

"So, if the region needs 200,000 units per year and only 120,000 to 140,000 is collected then you see the deficit, and this means  so many lives that continue being lost due to blood shortage. This is not because people who can donate blood are not available but many don't even care, just because they have not lost a relative due to blood scarcity to understand the importance of donating," Nakasiita said.

"We want to implore all cultural leaders, religious leaders, political leaders and other stakeholders to join the cause of sensitizing Ugandans to understand the importance of donating blood. There is  no industry manufacturing blood so we have to get it from people."

Mike Gabura, the laboratory manager for Kakindo health centre IV which serves six sub counties in Kagadi and Kakumiro districts said  they receive at least 100 patients who need  transfusion services per month, but  noted due to scarcity  of blood, they hardly attend to them.

He says while their demand is at 40 units of blood per week, Hoima blood collection centre supplies them  with only 20 units which is normally consumed within  a few days .

Gabura says there is a high  demand for blood transfusion services for   delivering mothers, accident victims and  severe malaria patients.

"While cases of severe malaria are high, there is a problem of the cultural beliefs especially the Bakiga and Banyarwanda community who when  get ill, instead of visiting health centres, they resort to cultural beliefs or using razor blades to cut  their people on the neck, and stomach that they are removing poison, and witchcraft. Many  get severe bleeding, and  by the time many  reach here, it's late. As  the process to give them blood starts, they breathe their last," Gabura said.

He confirms that they have watched on several times patients die due to lack of blood as some reject referrals on grounds that they don't have money to go to either Hoima or Mubende.

"What can we do, a number of times, our doctors and nurses have witnessed patients die, due to lack of blood."

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