How To Save a Life on World Blood Donor Day

  • Health CAS Rashid Aman addresses the daily Covid-19 briefs from Afya House.
    Health CAS Rashid Aman addresses the daily Covid-19 briefs from Afya House.
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  • The Ministry of Health on Friday, June 12, rallied Kenyans to donate blood on Sunday, June 14, that has been designated by the World Health Organisation as the World Blood Donor Day.

    According to the Ministry's data, the country’s annual demands is in the range of 500,000 units but the amount collected is far less.

    "We have had challenges in our blood collection, we have been recording a collection of about 164, 000 pints a year, which translates to 450 pints a day, so we are far short of the minimum," stated Health CS Dr Rashid Aman in a statement.

    Health CAS Rashid Aman addressing a presser at Afya House on Monday May 11, 2020.
    Health CAS Rashid Aman addressing a presser at Afya House on Monday, May 11, 2020.

    The situation is expected to be worse due to the coronavirus pandemic, which contrains the smooth running services.

    "Blood collection between this time of the pandemic, it is estimated that there has been a 70 and 80 percent drop," Aman added.

    "Indeed, there is evidence that there has been a drop in the number of individuals visiting healthcare facilities," read a statement by Damu Sasa, which is in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

    Those mostly affected include; women with pregnancy and childbirth associated complications; children with severe anaemia due to malaria and malnutrition; patients with blood and bone marrow disorders.

    Others include; those with inherited disorders of Haemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions; people with traumatic injuries in emergencies, disasters and accidents; and patients undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures. 

    The Ministry warned that the situation could get worse if left unattended. Those who wish to donate blood have been notified that the event will run for three days; from June 12 to June 14 at the KICC.

    "The event will be conducted in the spirit expressed by WHO, i.e. appreciate voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality assured blood
    and blood products, as an integral part of universal health coverage and a key component of effective health systems," added Damu sasa.

    The event will be conducted in line with the COVID-19 guidelines including; social distance, regular handwashing and restricted movement.

    Other than Damu Sasa, MOH has also collaborated with Facebook.

    "There are 1,522 people who have called various centres to book an appointment for blood donation. We want to appeal to those enquiring to make pledges, and other well-wishers to come forward and participate in this very important activity," MOH urged.

    Mombasa residents donate blood on January 16, 2019.
    Mombasa residents donate blood on January 16, 2019.
    Daily Nation