John Baptist Egesa, 72, the former Chief Engineer of the Uganda Air Force, started donating blood in 1966 when he was only 19 and has since made 156 donations, according to Dr. Dorothy Byabazaire, the Director Uganda Transfusion Blood Services (UTBS).
During the national celebrations to mark the World Blood Transfusion Day (WTBD) in Kampala last week, Egesa said he donates blood at least three times per year.
“My blood has saved at least 4500 people who were in need of it out there and I am happy that I am also contributing to the development of my country in the health sector” he said
Egesa, a life member of both the Uganda Red Cross Society and the UBTS is believed to be the chief donor after donating blood for very many times.
Egesa said that giving blood is something he does with passion.
“I am a life lover and I enjoy helping those in need. That is why I donate blood willingly to save life,” he said.
“By the time I started donating blood I was in Senior three at St Joseph Seminary Nyenga. Dr. John Kintu by then was the Director of St John Brigade Ambulance in Uganda. He was moving around in different schools urging young people to donate blood. I joined,” he adds.
Egesa said that blood donation had not only helped him achieve the goal of saving others but also brought him recognition.
“I got a shield from Washington DC that was given to me by Dr Kwan in 2012. By then he was the director of the Centre of Disease control CDC. I have also in addition received medals from the Uganda government and certificates from different organizations,” he added
Egesa was born on September 1947 in Makunda Masaba village, in Busia district but grew up in Mukono and Kampala.
He attended Nkokonjeru Primary School from P1 to P6 between 1956 and 1961 in present day Buikwe district. He then joined St. Joseph Seminary Nyenga for Junior one to Senior Four.
He joined St Mary’s College Kisubi for A level and then Lincoln University for a mechanical engineering course where he graduated and became the Chief Air force engineer a position he served till his retirement recently