The health ministry has received a donation of two new high-tech blood screening machines worth over sh1b.
The machines from the US were handed over to the health ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine as a donation from Star Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Abbott diagnostics, on Wednesday.
Ani Prajith, the head of sales and marketing at Star Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said the machines are automated and help in screening blood, using high technology.
"They will ensure safe blood transfusion to the patients in health facilities," Prajith said.
Atwine said the machines will be installed at Uganda Blood Transfusion Services to improve quality care in providing blood screening.
"We welcome this timely donation and we believe it will solve the problem of blood screening. Several sickle cell patients need constant blood transfusion, also cancer patients need platelets and plasma. There are people in surgery, patients in the women's hospital, and others who have had accidents who also need units of blood," Atwine said.
Dorothy Kyeyune, the director general of the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, Nakasero Blood Bank, said since most of the students are out of school, they have resorted to getting blood from the communities.
She called on the public to donate more blood to save lives.
Kyeyune said each hospital needs a minimum of 50 units of blood per day. She also warned the health workers against selling blood to patients.
"I also warn all health workers against selling blood to patients. Blood donation is free of charge, therefore, blood should not be sold," she said.
She said although currently, the country is not facing blood shortage, there was still need for people to donate, so as to save more lives.
Kyeyune also reminded the hospitals to collect blood from regional blood banks, saying failure to stock blood in hospitals exposes the patients to danger.
"You may have blood in the regional blood bank when the hospitals have not collected the blood so this is another challenge. Many times, we have blood at the regional blood banks, but some hospitals fail to collect the blood.