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Funding Gap Hampers Blood Bank Expansion Plan

The expansion of the infrastructure of the existing blood banks and the construction of the six target banks was expected to improve delivery of health services and improve blood supply in all hospitals . But with limited funding, the plan could not be realized.
19 Jun 2015 09:50
Uganda Blood Transfusion Services - UBTS failed to meet its target of establishing blood banks in six regional referral hospitals across the country. The hitch is a result of meager funding received by the facility over the last five years.

UBTS set out to improve infrastructure in terms of construction of fully fledged blood banks, purchase more vehicles for its outreach programs and increase the amount of blood collected in the country as part of its 5-year strategic plan initiated in 2010.

The target was to construct and equip blood banks in each regional referral hospital in the country.  This would translate into a blood bank in Kabale, Jinja, Soroti, Moroto Mubende and Hoima regional referral hospitals.

The expansion of the infrastructure of the existing blood banks and the construction of the six target banks was expected to improve delivery of health services and improve blood supply in all hospitals . But with limited funding, the plan could not be realized.

UBTS received funding worth 370million Shillings annually over the five year period. This translated into a shortfall of 47.4 billion Shillings against a total budget of 49.224 billion shillings.

Since its formation in 2003, Uganda Blood Transfusion Services has only seven Regional blood banks. These are Nakasero- the headquarters, Mbale, Gulu, Arua, Fort Portal, Mbarara and Masaka. Some of the Regional Referral Hospitals like Arua are still being housed in small rooms provided by the hospital.

Chris Mugarura, the Principal Economist at Uganda Blood Transfusion Services says that the health centers and regional referral hospitals that don\'t have blood banks rely on the existing blood banks for blood.

Michael Mukundane, a Blood Donor Recruiter at Nakasero Blood Bank says that this affects the timely distribution of blood to the health centers and hospitals when needed.

He says if blood was collected and processed within each region, it would reduce on the number of complaints from blood donors and make blood readily available at all health centers.

//Cue in: Like in Kabale...

Cue out:...all such complaints.//

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