The Head of Jinja Blood Bank, Adonia Nanhumba, has raised concerns over the significant drop in blood donations, attributing the decline to negative public perceptions. The blood bank, located within Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, faces a monthly target of 1300 units but consistently falls short due to a shortage of donors.
In spite of the growing demand for blood, especially among anemic patients and expectant mothers in various healthcare facilities, there persists a substantial gap in blood donation. This challenge is primarily associated with a prevalent pessimistic attitude among the public towards blood donation.
However, in a proactive effort to address this issue, the blood bank has introduced a toll-free telephone number where the public can report incidents of blood sales.
The toll-free number, 0800122422, aims to empower the community to combat the unethical practice of selling blood, even to individuals who have previously donated.
Jabril Kaisokampaga, a councilor at Buikwe District, expresses frustration, stating, “It pains a lot when you have a card as a blood donor, but you also have to buy blood in health facilities.”
Michael Bwire, the LCIII Chairman of Wakisi Division, calls on health workers to cease selling blood, emphasizing that it is readily available for free. He urges for transparency and an end to exorbitant pricing.
To strengthen the efforts of the Jinja Blood Bank, the Indian Association in Uganda has organized a series of blood donation camps in factories owned by Indians. This initiative kicked off at Yogi Steels in Buikwe District, showcasing the commitment of the Indian community to their Corporate Social Responsibility.
As the blood bank strives to overcome the obstacles of negative perceptions and unethical blood sales, community engagement and support have never been more crucial. With the launch of the toll-free number and the backing of organizations like the Indian Association in Uganda, there is hope that the supply of life-saving blood will become more reliable in Jinja and its surrounding areas.