The Ministry of Health today launched a national blood donation campaign ahead of the World Blood Donor Day, to be commemorated on Sunday June 14, 2020
The campaign was launched by the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Rashid Aman, who disclosed that the country’s blood situation is challenging and hence the need to restock.
He disclosed that the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS), used to collect about 450 pints of blood every day. However, with the onset of COVID-19 in the country, the situation has changed, and the figures have dropped between 70 and 80 percent.
“KNBTS is now collecting about 250 pints of blood, which has caused a major strain on our blood bank. Therefore, the launch of this blood donation campaign could not have come at a better time,” he said.
The CAS said that the Ministry of Health is working on improving service delivery in the blood sector. In recognizing the need for additional human capacity, the Ministry has posted an additional 22 members of staff, to the KNBTS.
The Ministry has also received, Ksh 1 billion through the World Bank programme to upgrade and improve services and blood collection within the satellites throughout the country.
“This will ensure that there is enough commodities for blood donation and right equipment and reagents required in the lab to ensure the blood collected is well handled and safe,” he said.
The CAS urged the members of the public to volunteer and donate blood. Currently, the government is leveraging on ICT through Facebook platform and Damu Sasa Systems, to mobilize blood donors for the next two days.
“As of this morning, 12,779 individuals had set reminders on their Facebook accounts for people to come out and donate blood countrywide. There are also 33 other centres countrywide, where the same exercise is being carried out,” he said .
Dr. Rashid acknowledged that there has been some level of corruption in the blood services and investigations are being undertaken as the ministry moves forward to reform KNBTS.
He thanked all the partners and sponsors who have extended a hand of support in this venture, in particular KICC Management, Standard Group, Damu Sasa systems, UNFPA, AMREF, Farm Access, KNH and Coca Cola.
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