Masaka – With the rising shortage blood and poor storage ravaging the country, Masaka Regional Referral Hospital is set to get the first ever state-of-the-art regional blood bank where all blood collected within the region will be screened and processed.
Masaka Regional Referral Hospital Director Dr. James Elima says the Uganda Blood Transfusion Service plans to establish a fully fledged blood bank that will be key in battling chronic illness since the facility will be screening and processing blood as a service which the region has been lacking,
Dr. Elima added that they expect construction works to be complete within eighteen months (one and half years.) “We have already planned for it and Uganda Blood Transfusion Service has written to us that they want land and we have already told them that we have land. The next thing we are doing is to take it to the Board to inform them but not to look for authority that the Blood Bank is coming here,” adding that blood transfusion services is one of the services that the hospital and the entire region direly needs and the land will be given.
Uganda Blood Transfusion Services has time and again decried the shortage of blood since many members of the public fear to donate blood due to lack of information and discouraging religious cultural and religious beliefs about blood donation. ‘
These factors hinder many people from donating blood, with some looking at the practice as a taboo and associating with some form human sacrifice, a thing which medical practitioners continue to refute to the last dot.
According to the World Health Organisation’s Global Database on Blood Safety, a country should be able to collect blood equivalent to one percent of its population. Uganda is estimated to have a population of about 46 million people but collects far below the required amount.
With our population of over 45 million people, we are supposed to collect at least 450,000 units of blood annually but we collect only 300,000 units,” a doctor who spoke on grounds of anonymity told this publication recently.