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Kenya facing acute blood shortage

By Antony Gitonga | Published Mon, June 4th 2018 at 00:00, Updated June 3rd 2018 at 21:48 GMT +3
Barclays MD Jeremy Awori donating blood as the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service Director Dr. Josephine Githaiga looks on.

The Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) has admitted that it failed to hit its target of 180,000 units of blood as envisaged in the period ending December 2017.

Instead, KNBTS collected 149,000 units, with details emerging that Kenya requires 400,000 units annually to be blood sufficient.

The move is a blow to patients requiring blood transfusions as they have to fork out more money for blood.

Josephine Githaiga (pictured), the KNBTS director, said they were working with stakeholders to ensure that the deficit was plugged this year.

Dr Githaiga said part of the plans included incorporating institutions with friendly campaigns to ensure that blood was donated in the required amounts.

Largest donation

She said in February, the institution collected 1,800 units, including 600 units from Kenyatta International Convention Centre, terming it the largest single donation from adults in the country.

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“Show Your Love Campaign was carried out in February 2018 with a climax drive on Valentine’s Day,” she noted

Githaiga said last month, KNBTS entered into a partnership with Barclays Bank to have blood donated by staff in all branches, adding that this helped to get 1,700 units.

She was speaking in Nakuru at the weekend ahead of celebrations to mark World Blood Donor Day on June 14 in Machakos County.

“During the event we will seek to get more than 1,000 units to be distributed to hospitals,” she added.

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