African Union launches s 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018 

Ecobank partners NSSF, UBTS to raise 4,500units

KAMPALA, UGANDA- The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in partnership with Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) under the Ministry of Health has kicked off the six-day Annual NSSF Blood Donation Drive aimed at collecting 4,500 units of blood.

This is in response to a nationwide appeal for safe blood.

“The demand was highest in the central region because of the numerous health centers that receive referrals. The highest demand for blood is usually from expectant mothers, cancer patients, HIV Positive patients, accident victims, among others. To help us close the shortage, we take up partnerships with organizations like NSSF to boost the blood collections,” said Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, the Executive Director at Uganda Blood Transfusion Services.

The drive kicked off from 8th to 13th January 2018 in different locations with in Kampala and upcountry.

The locations are Workers House, Constitutional Square, Queens Way –Katwe, Mukwano Arcade and NSSF Kampala branches, in Kireka, Mukono, Kawempe, Bakuli, Bugolobi and Entebbe.

Upcountry, the drive will take place in major regional towns of Mbale, Mbarara, Gulu, Arua, Fort Portal, Jinja, Mukono Kabale, Masaka as well as NSSF branches in the respective towns.

Blood donation will also take place at all 34 branches of Equity Bank throughout the country according to Anthony Kituuka, the Equity Bank Executive Director.

Richard Byarugaba, NSSF Managing Director, said through the drive, they would like to sensitize communities where they will be, about blood donation and its benefits to help them raise their target of 4,500 units, ultimately increasing the number of blood donors countrywide.

Byabazaire said the lowest collections were experienced in Fort Portal, Kabale, Mbarara and sections of Mbale, despite large populations in those towns.

 She attributed the low collections in these areas last year to low awareness of blood donation and cultural myths about it.

 According to World Health Organization, (WHO), Uganda needs about 340,000 units of blood annually although less than 200,000 units are collected annually. It should be noted that only 1% of Uganda’s population that is eligible to donate blood regularly do so, causing blood shortages.

 Through NSSF’s partnership with UBTS in the last six years, over 9,420 units of blood have been collected to-date.

“This year, we are positive that the collections will increase further having gotten another partner on board, Equity Bank, for the cause,” Byarugaba said.

This initiative is part of Fund’s Social Responsibility agenda which is premised on supporting vulnerable members of the community as well as improving their social wellbeing.

To donate blood, a donor needs to be between the ages of 17 and 65 years, weigh above 45 kgs and must not be on medication.

 

 

 

By EABW REPORTER, Tuesday, January 09th, 2018