'We give hospitals; both government and private blood for free. Nobody should sell it to you'
PIC: Bodaboda cyclists donating blood at Makerere Business Institute in Kampala yesterday. (Credit: Nelson Kiva)
DONATE BLOOD, SAVE LIVES
Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) has collected over 90,000 units of blood in the last four months.
According to UBTS, this was a significant boost from January -February a cute blood shortage that paralyzed the health sector.
Samuel Davis Wante, UBTS clinical team leader, said blood crisis was no more after Ugandans embraced and supported blood donation.
Uganda needs 300,000 units of blood every year to sustain theatre operations and responding to emergency needs from accidents among others. Every month the country needs 25,000 units of blood.
But the country has been collecting about 250,000 units of blood short of target with 50,000 units.
Wante, while launching a drive by the bodaboda riders to donate 10,000 units of blood at Makerere Business Institute in Kampala yesterday, said the boost in blood connection followed the increased willingness by Ugandans to donate blood.
He said since January, the drive for blood to save life has been supported by the Government bodies and the private sector.
"We need to be supported to meet targeted blood collection," he said.
He faulted some hospitals that fail to pick blood from the blood bank and then lie to the public that there is no blood.
Wante warned the general public against buying blood: "We give hospitals; both government and private blood for free. Nobody should sell it to you."
The bodaboda donate blood campaign that started with Kampala in Kawempe division, among others, is intended to give the bodaboda industry an improved face.
The acting chairperson of Uganda bodaboda industry, Ausi Muwaya, said the bodaboda industry was rebranding to shed off the negative public perception of associating it with criminality.
"We are moving from where you have known us from, we shall support development causes and blood donation is the first," he said.
The leaders of the Bodaboda 2010, including their patron, Abdullah Kitata, have since been arrested and are being prosecuted before the Military Court Martial for different crimes committed.
The chairperson of the bodaboda riders in Kawempe division, Abdul Kabenge, said they found it necessary as bodaboda riders to embark on blood donation to save for their lives since they are prone to accidents.
He added that they have discovered it was also necessary for them to save lives of others who die in hospitals and other health facilities because of shortage of blood.
The cyclists have been supported by companies such as YOG motorcycle spare parts company and YUVRAJ TV.