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Let’s donate more blood to save lives

Monday, February 26th, 2024 11:00 | By
Blood shortage threatens lives in Western Kenya
Members of the public during a blood donation exercise in Kisumu over the weekend. PHOTO/KNA

A State agency has warned about severe blood shortage in Western Kenya, a situation that is impacting negatively on emergency cases and routine medical procedures.

The Kisumu regional blood transfusion centre recruiter reports that all blood types are in high demand with O+ and A+ being the most needed.

The shortage has significantly affected health facilities in the region, leading to potential fatalities in emergencies and surgeries due to insufficient supply.

Officials say expectant mothers and those with ruptured uteruses face life-threatening situations due to the scarcity of blood. Children who are in urgent need of transfusion due to various health conditions also risk death.

 Experts in the sector explain that despite regularly collecting blood from donors, contamination by bacteria or viruses forces them to destroy a significant portion of the samples.

They also attribute the decline to dwindling number voluntary donors.

The experts disclose that the number has drastically reduced, thus impacting the ability to meet the demand.

Awareness campaigns and incentives, once in place, have diminished. Funding challenges, especially since the CDC’s departure, has left the region struggling to maintain sufficient bloodstock.

Institutions such as schools, universities and colleges are crucial for bridging the blood demand-supply gap.

However, misconceptions about blood donation leading to death and other unfounded fears have affected voluntary contributions.  This calls for the attention of Kenyans  to step up and activate the spirit.

All relevant systems must be revisited with a view to re-igniting a massive national blood donation countrywide. We cannot afford to lose lives so easily due to lack of blood banks.

Similarly, the persons who have been entrusted with the mandate to secure the donated blood must execute their responsibilities diligently to ensure that what has been collected remains in safe custody and none finds its way out of the their officially designated places.

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