Blood shortage has been a perennial problem in this country. Last year, Kenya Red Cross made multiple appeals for blood donations via Social media, pointing to a serious shortage in hospitals.
While launching an urgent appeal for blood donations at the end of last year, Busia County Referral Hospital revealed that lives had been lost in the health facility due to lack of blood.
For long, blood collection programmes in Kenya were funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar). However, the programme was adversely affected after Pepfar withdrew funding in September 2019.
Considering that at least 80 per cent of the funding was done by Pepfar, it is easy to understand why Kenyan hospitals have been facing a blood supply crisis.
Most of the time when patients need transfusion urgently, hospitals ask their relatives to donate blood to save their lives. This should not be the case. Ideally, blood should be readily available for those who need it.
Kenyans have been hesitant to donate blood partly due to claims that some the blood is sold, sometimes as far as Somalia.
But now there is no reason to fear now.
According to Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service, new technology has changed how blood donation is done.
Through the Blood Information Management System, the donor will be able to know who has been transfused with his or her blood and in which hospital.
The new technology, therefore, gives assurance that the donated blood will not end up saving lives far away in Somalia while Kenyans are dying for lack of the same.
You have no excuse not to donate blood to ensure that our hospitals have enough of it. There is nothing nobler than saving a life.
Go ahead and donate blood today.