Dr. Sam Uringtho, the Director of Gulu Regional Blood Bank told URN in an interview that they are raising little blood because of the low turn up of blood donors. According to Uringtho, majority of their donors are secondary school students but because of high demand for blood, what they donate is not enough.
Gulu Regional Blood
Bank is struggling to raise enough blood due to the reluctance of donors.
The blood bank is only
able to collect 2,370 units of blood out of the required 3,950 units, which
represents 60 percent.
Dr. Sam Uringtho, the Director Gulu Regional Blood Bank, says
they are failing to meet their target because of the low turn up of blood
According to Uringtho, majority of their donors are
secondary school students but because of the high demand for blood, what
they donate isn’t enough.
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Gulu Regional Blood Banks supplies all government
health facilities in Northern Uganda and few privately owned hospitals.
It has three field teams.
Two teams that serve Acholi sub region are in Gulu and
the other is in Lira district serving Lango Sub –Region. Each team is supposed to collect 1,300 units of blood each
Uringtho revealed that the blood shortage in the blood
bank wouldn’t have been bad if the Region hadn’t been seriously hit by the malaria
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Uringtho, who describes the blood shortage in Northern
Uganda as chronic, says the situation is likely to worsen if blood donors don’t
show up in big numbers.
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Lacor Hospital in Gulu District requires between 2,000
to 2,500 units of blood per month, but it only receives between 700 to
1,000 units from the Regional Blood Bank.
To try and meet the high
demand, the Hospital raises between 150 to 200 units per month internally to
supplement the supply from the Regional Blood Bank.
Dr. Angelo Ochieng, the In –Charge of Attiak Health
Center 4 in Amuru District told URN in an interview that they received eight
units of blood from Gulu Regional Blood Bank in Mid-July but it got finished
Ochieng, who revealed that the health facility
requires 15 units of blood every month, said majority of their clients
who require blood transfusion are malaria patients, sicklers and accident
victims among others.
Paul Okello Ajok, the Principle Administrator Gulu
Regional Referral Hospital appealed to the general public to donate blood
to save lives of those who require blood transfusion.
David Okema, a resident of Laroo Division in Gulu
Municipality, says he last donated blood in 2015 in a bid to save his
aunts life who was very sick and needed blood transfusion.
Okema vows never to donate blood again because hospitals want
relatives to first donate blood in exchange of the one in the facility
before their patient are given blood.
In Uganda, the Uganda Red Cross Society
in partnership with the Uganda Blood Transfusion
Services through the Ministry of Health has the mandate of
mobilizing Voluntary blood donors to donate blood for patients who
require blood transfusion.