Due to the blood shortage in Uganda, Makerere University Centre for Health and Population Research (MUCHAP) in partnership with the District health offices of Iganga and Mayuge and the Uganda Blood Bank conducted a long week blood donation drive to save lives of children dying as a result of anaemia. A total of 230 units of blood were garnered in the communities of Iganga and Mayuge Districts and this can save lives of equivalent to 920 children.

photo RDC - Iganga District, Mrs. Pulkeria Muhindo donating blood during the blood donation exercise organized by MUCHAP at the District Headquarter, December 2017

The drive commenced in December 2017 in the following places; Mayuge town and Luyira trading centre in Mayuge District, Nakigo trading centre, Iganga District Headquarter, Happy Corner and Nkono stage in Iganga District. Community members, political leaders, civil servants and staff of MUCHAP turned up to donate blood in different donation venues.

According to the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS), about 340,000 units of blood are required annually. However, UBTS is only able to raise about 200,000 units, leaving a shortage of over 100,000 units.

On the other hand, one of the research findings at MUCHAP showed that, 154 children below five years had died due to lack of blood within a period of two years. The community members are therefore urged to donate blood to address the current shortage of blood in Uganda to save lives of people in need of blood including children, pregnant mothers, sicklers, accident victims, cancer patients, people undergoing surgery and suffering from HIV/AIDS among others.

photo Former Mayor of Iganga Municipality, Hajji Siraji Katono donating blood during the blood donation exercise organized by MUCHAP at Happy Corner in Iganga town, December 2017

As part of Corporate Social Responsibility, MUCHAP will continue organising blood donation drive annually in conjunction with its partners as one of the activities to save lives of people in Uganda.

Other services offered during the blood donation drive included; Checking blood groups and blood pressure, Counselling and HIV testing where 5 people were reactive out of the 331 people who tested for HIV/AIDS.

photo MUCHAP staff donating blood at Iganga District Headquarter to save lives of people, December 2017

photo Blood donation at Happycorner

photo A group photo of community members lining up for HIV testing and blood donation in Mayuge.