Kenya Red Cross and partners to hold a blood donation drive at KICC Grounds as WHO designates June 14th as The World Blood Donation Day

June 17, 2020 at 15:17
Kenya Red Cross and partners to hold a blood donation drive at KICC Grounds as WHO designates June 14th as The World Blood Donation Day

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated Sunday June 14th, 2020 the World Blood Donor Day. This will take place when health delivery systems across the world are under strain due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

It is worth noting that, even as all attention remains focused on the pandemic, typical healthcare issues remain with us.  According to the Ministry of Health’s Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) the country’s annual demands is in the range of 500,000 units of which only about 180,000 units are raised.

There is evidence suggests that the situation will be worse this year due to the pandemic; the measures put in place such as restricted movement and physical/social distancing, in response to the pandemic, constrain the smooth running of blood services.

Indeed, there is evidence that there has been a drop in the number of individuals visiting healthcare facilities.

Those feeling the effect include women with pregnancy and childbirth associated complications; children with severe anaemia due to malaria and malnutrition; patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, 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.

Left unattended, the situation could worsen.

The purpose of the Unity Blood Donation & Awareness Drive is to help alleviate the current blood shortage in the country.

The drive is the brainchild of partners including the Ministry of Health (MoH) through the KNBTS, the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), and Damu Sasa System Limited.

The event will run for three days (June 12th – June 14th, 2020) and 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.”

The 3-day event will be conducted in line with guidelines from the MoH regarding managing the pandemic situation: physical/social distance, regular hand-washing and restricted movement, among others.

The donor site, the KICC grounds, will be managed to accommodate a requisite number of people on the grounds; with the use of the Damu-Sasa technology, donors will pick specific slots to come for the donation.

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