The coordinator of field operations at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) William Mugisha has come out to refute alarming media reports that people are dying in national referral hospitals
“There is no such thing as a blood crisis in the country at the moment and whoever is making such allegations must be basing it on a one off situation which is not reflective of the real situation on the ground, ” Mugisha said in an exclusive interview with The Sunrise this week.
Mugisha was reacting to what he termed as alarmist media houses which reported last week that National referral hospitals including Mulago were experiencing a blood crisis leading to allegedly increased death cases.
Expressing gratitude to schools and tertiary institutions which he said are the most supportive sources of blood donation, Mugisha, pointed out, to the contrary that ” this is one of the seasons where their blood stocks shoot up because it is one of the times of the year when schools reopen.”
However, while UBTS hails schools and tertiary institutions for their contribution to blood transfusion in the country, they decry the fact that the general public has continued to ignore the call to blood donation despite calls they regularly made through a multiplicity of means including the media and public outreaches.
“Some of them tell us to give them money before they donate blood dismissing the bottle of soda we offer them as childish” said David Ssentalo one of the Laboratory Technicians at UBTS appealing to the general public to donate blood to save lives.
Ssentalo however noted that some would be donators have resorted to hiding poor nutrition to evade the call.
“And yet donating blood does not require one who feeds on six course meals served from 5 star hotels. Infact people who live in villages where they regularly feed on beans and other types of vages and local foods are always in good position to donate blood.” Ssentalo stated
He however noted that there are basic standards those intending to donate blood must satisfy including but not limited to :- a minimum age of 17 years, Minimum weight of 40 Kg and being free from any illness.
,UBTS supplies free blood to 227 transfusing health centers according to Mugisha and it operates 7 blood banks in Uganda’s 7 regions of Jinja,Masaka,Hoima,Rukungiri,Kabale, Soroti and Angara all of which are served by 14 blood collecting canters scattered all over the country.