Red Cross announces blood shortage as country enters festive season

The Uganda Red Cross Society has announced that there is a blood shortage currently as the country enters the long festive season.

“The actual blood donation funding would be in the range of shs2.5 billion but government has allocated only one billion shillings. It is something positive but may not enable us do the job as expected,” said Robert Kwesiga, the Uganda Red Cross Society Secretary-General.

More than 2000 units of blood are needed every day but according to Red Cross, there is blood shortage every festive season because schools and other institutions that are the main sources of blood have broken off.

Kwesiga however, noted that together with the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, Uganda Red Cross has developed a mobilization strategy to cater for the festive season in terms of blood.

Blood is essential especially in such times of festivities because of the many accidents that leave many victims in dire need of blood.

This, therefore, calls for availability of blood at all times but most especially during the festive season.

Statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that Uganda has an annual demand of about 340,000 units of blood but falls short by over 100,000 units.

Last year, only 240,000 units were collected against the targeted 340,000 units in Uganda.

This year, the country was aiming at collecting  300,000 units of blood.

According to the Uganda Blood Transfusion Service, a small percentage of the population eligible to donate blood does so and this has contributed to collection of less blood.

The Uganda Red Cross Society, however, said they have positioned teams on duty full time to support any emergency situations across the country during the festive season.

“We will not close despite the festive season.  We are not on standby but on duty,” Uganda Red Cross Society spokesperson, Irene Nakasiita said.

 

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