MSF advocating for voluntary blood donation to meet demand in Homa Bay

Residents of Homa Bay County have been challenged to come out and donate blood, to ensure the County has enough supply to cater for its annual demand of 9,871 units.

Homa Bay County Satellite Blood Bank Officer-In-Charge, Flevian Ochieng’, said that currently the County is only able to collect about 4,641 pints of blood, which he noted to be less than half of the county’s yearly demand.

Speaking, yesterday, in Homa Bay town during a blood donation drive organized by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to celebrate world blood donor day, Ochieng’ noted that many people shy away from donating blood, saying it was time for residents to be well informed on the importance of giving blood.

He noted that during the blood donation exercise, yesterday, they were able to collect 56 pints of blood contrary to their target which was 100.

MSF Project Medical Acting Coordinator, Dr. Earnest Emetole, said June 14 is the day set aside to raise awareness and encourage more people to embrace voluntary blood donation in order to ensure lives are saved in hospitals.

“It is part of our responsibility to identify with events of this nature and we have seen the benefits of this routine, which has become a yearly event. In the spirit of supporting the county and ensuring patients in hospitals have sufficient blood, MSF has provided support by ensuring there is a blood transfusion officer in the blood unit within the County Teaching and Referral Hospital, to support the entire team towards ensuring availability of blood during emergencies,” he said.

MSF is also working with the Ministry of Health in ensuring health workers in the Sub-counties are well prepared to manage mass casualties in the event of pre and post-election emergencies.

On the other hand, Emetole pointed out that there is a shortage of human resource in the County Blood Unit Department, saying that the Unit needs a requisite number of the same for it to run smoothly.

The Doctor appreciated the regular donors, saying that they deserve to be celebrated while at the same time advocated for more budgetary allocation towards the blood transfusion unit within the system.

“In as much as MSF is able to inject human resource into the unit, it is still not enough. We hope that the county would increase its budget allocation towards ensuring the blood unit department has the required number of human resource to run,” Emetole said.

“If we are able to get it right then our patients in hospitals will be better managed such that expectant mothers with severe anemia and victims of road accidents or violence, will get access to blood,” he added.

Emetole urged members of the public to be part of voluntary donor pool to save lives which he noted to be significant towards improving the general quality of care in hospitals.



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