By Denis Ojwee and Wilfred Lamony Jwee
MINISRTY of Health and the Uganda Blood Transfusion Service (UBTS), will on Friday commission a multimillion Blood Bank in Gulu district.
Gulu Regional Blood Bank was constructed at attune of 1.5 million dollars an equivalent of 3.9 billion shillings in addition to three regional blood banks in Fort-portal, Mbarara, and Mbale as well as the one in Kampala.
The Regional Director Gulu Blood Bank Dr Sam Uringtho told the New Vision on Thursday that there is always shortage of blood whenever students are on holiday because they are highest donors.
He said currently the region is only collecting 300 units of blood weekly compared to 700 units that used to be collected during the insurgency when people were still living in the camp.
Uringtho said they region needs about 2000 units of blood every month yet sometimes a big percentage of blood that is collected is discarded due infections like HIV/AIDS, syphilis, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
“I want to encourage the community to donate blood because blood donation is a societal responsibility;” he said
US Ambassador Scott H. DeLisi and the Health Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda will officiate at the ceremony that will be held at Plot 6 Princess Road, Laro Division, Gulu Municipality.
According to a press release from the US mission in Kampala, people will have the opportunity to donate blood after medical examinations, to ensure the safety of all potential blood donors.
With support from the U.S. Government Uganda Blood Transfusion Service (UBTS) has developed a centrally coordinated national blood service with a decentralized network of seven regional blood banks and six collection centres.
Between 2004 and 2012, the UBTS received 30.4 million dollars an equivalent of 78 billion shillings, from the American people to support the provision of safe blood and blood products to health facilities throughout the country.
This will increase blood collection from over 92,000 units in 2004 to 201,365 units in 2013, a 118 percent increase.