The current blood shortage in the country is due to an influx of patients from the neighbouring countries.
By Emmanuel Luganda
The current blood shortage in the country is due to an influx of patients from the neighbouring countries, Nakasero Blood bank publicist Joyce Helga Nassuuna has said.
Nassuna singles out the Democratic Republic of Congo where there is on-going fighting between the M23 rebels and the DRC Government troops.
She explained that much blood is collected from students who were on holidays and hence the shortage.
Nassuuna added that the demand of blood is always high compared to the blood in store. “We still need blood because the demand is high and cannot have enough blood.”
Blood shortage came to the attention of Ugandans after the death of two people in Soroti Hospital due to lack of blood.
When 18-year-old Peruse Namiiro, a resident of Waluga Village, Mukono, went into labour last month, she did exactly what her nurses had advised her to do — rush to hospital immediately.
Upon arriving at Katogo Health Centre IV with her husband, Musisi Majara, the medics were ready to attend to her. However, she was diagnosed with a condition that they couldn’t handle. Namiiro was referred to Kawolo Hospital, 22km away.
Majara hired a bodaboda but by the time Namiiro arrived at Kawolo Hospital, she was bleeding profusely and was exhausted. She delivered a baby boy, but it was dead.
Namiiro needed blood transfusion but the doctors told Majara that there was no blood at the hospital.
They told him to go to Mulago Hospital, another, 42kms away! “My wife died at Namanve, before we could reach Mulago,” Majara sadly narrated.
Majara’s wife who was buried last week in Nyenga, is one of the victims of an acute shortage of blood which has hit the country over the last few weeks.
Dr. Joshua Kiberu, the in charge of Kawolo Hospital, says the hospital has been running without blood for long and all patients in need of transfusion are referred to Mulago.
In Jinja, the situation is not any better. According the hospital, on average, 12 patients are referred to Mulago Hospital daily for blood transfusion.
Dr. Michael Osinde, the director of Jinja Hospital, said every day, at least five children die due to the blood shortage. The casualty ward and maternity ward are also affected, he said.
Dr. Balina Nseko, the hospital’s deputy director, said supply of blood to the hospital has been erratic since the year began.
However, he explained that the hospital received some blood on Wednesday which temporarily relieved the shortage. The hospital needs at least 70 units of blood per week, but the hospital had about half of that volume.
Blood bank explainscause of blood shortage