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Uganda to host 11th Africa Blood congress

Uganda to host 11th Africa Blood congress

The demand for blood in Uganda remains high amidst shortages in the health sector
(Courtesy photo)

Uganda is grappling with a persistent shortage of blood despite high demand, particularly in treating malaria and pregnancy-related cases. Currently, the country only manages to collect around 300,000 units of blood annually, falling short of the World Health Organization’s recommended 450,000 units.

Children need sixty percent of the blood supply while receiving treatment for anemia-related disorders and malaria, among other things as Pregnancy-related cases require this blood in at least 25% of women.

To address this issue, Uganda is set to host the 11th Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) Congress in Kampala from March 4 to 7, 2024.

Under the theme “Safe and sustainable blood services in Africa, new clinical advances, ICT Innovations and Technologies in Transfusion,” the congress aims to convene leading experts and stakeholders in the field to discuss solutions.

Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, Executive Director of Uganda Blood Transfusion Service (UBTS), expressed excitement about hosting the congress, highlighting its significance for the country’s health sector.

The congress is expected to draw thousands of experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world. It will provide a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and best practices in blood transfusion, as well as exploring new clinical approaches and technologies. Additionally, the event offers valuable networking opportunities for professionals in the field.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister for Health, emphasized the opportunity for Uganda to showcase its expertise in blood transfusion services on a global stage. She stressed the importance of collaboration to improve blood availability and save lives.

UBTS plays a crucial role in ensuring the availability, accessibility, and appropriate use of safe blood and blood components in Uganda. Despite the country’s population growth, it still falls short of meeting WHO guidelines for self-sufficiency in blood collection.

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