NSSF, UBTS launch blood donation drive

Blood donation drive
Blood donation drive

The National Social Security Fund is moving to address the growing blood deficit at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services.

“Uganda needs 300,000 units of blood annually, but we normally collect only 170,000 units a year”, says Dr. Dorothy Byabazire the Director UBTS

Speaking at the launch of the blood donation drive organized by National Social Security Fund in partnership with Uganda Blood transfusion Services (UBTS), Dr. Dorothy Byabazire said that in a year Uganda seeks 250,000 units of blood through the blood donation drives.

However, UTBS, is only able to collect up to 200,000 units annually of which 60 percent of this goes to children, pregnant mothers, cancer patients, sicklers, accident victims, people requiring surgical procedures and those living with HIV/AIDS.

The campaign titled, “Save a life; donate blood. Be a hero” will take place for six days between January 27th and 31st, at workers house lobby, Watoto church central and Constitutional Square in Kampala.

Speaking at the launch of the drive, Richard Byarugaba the NSSF Managing Director said, “We believe in the well-being of the society for a better future. It’s therefore prudent that as an organization we go out of our way to ensure that our people enjoy their lives. Through the donation drive, we expect to at least collect 1,800 units of blood which will go a long way saving people’s lives.

According to Dr. Byabazire, a unit of blood can save three lives and it takes only 12 minutes to complete a donation per person.

UTBS has seven regional blood banks across the country with 6 collection centers to support them. However approximately 80 percent of the blood donated in the country is collected from pupils and students thus causing a risk of shortage in supply during the holidays.

NSSF and UBTS urged all eligible members to join the drive and get a chance to know their blood groups, and above all save a life. Eligible members must be 18 years of age; with a body weight of 45 kgs, and have not have had malaria, three weeks prior to donation.

Story Jonathan Adengo