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CiplaQCIL, Mengo Blood Bank launch blood donation drive

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CiplaQCIL, Mengo Blood Bank launch blood donation drive

By Our Reporter

To address the growing blood deficit in Uganda, Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CiplaQCIL), together with the Rotary Mengo Blood Bank, have launched the Hope in Every Drop campaign, a blood donation drive targeting all eligible blood donors.

Uganda collects an average of 220,000 units of blood annually against the World Health Organisation’s recommended target of about 300,000, which creates an annual deficit of 100,000 units. Blood cannot be artificially created, so the country is completely dependent on people donating blood.

In September 2020, blood collected from donors in Uganda dropped from 96% to 76%, after COVID-19 restrictions were implemented.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mengo Blood Bank was meeting at least 12% of the total national blood requirements with an annual collection of 12,000 units. However, this has significantly dropped with a monthly collection of less than 100 units due in part to prolonged closure of educational institutions, which have the largest portion of donors.

Speaking at the launch, CiplaQCIL Chief Executive Officer, Ajay Pal, said: “CiplaQCIL, as one of its core principles, cares about communities in which it operates, and thus is committed to improving the social-economic situation of such areas. CiplaQCIL has a long-term relationship with the Rotary Mengo Blood Bank, having contributed to its construction and other initiatives to expand the blood bank and reduce the shortage of blood in Uganda.”

Blood is essential to help patients survive surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illness and traumatic injuries. Other blood components like red cells, platelets and plasma are also important blood products required by medical facilities.

Dr. Frank Kakuba, the head of Mengo Blood Bank said that the objective of the Hope in Every Drop campaign is to ensure a consistent supply of blood in health facilities by increasing the number of regular donors, and to demystify myths and misconceptions around blood donations.

“Donating blood is a community responsibility because blood banks are local institutions serving local hospitals to meet local needs. Blood donation is an absolutely safe process. Depending on the quantity and components of blood drawn, a donor can donate blood again within 8 weeks. Most of the blood components have an extremely short shelf life (roughly 42 days) and maintaining a constant supply is challenging.” Dr. Kakuba noted.

Blood donation drives will be held at Kyengera, Nsangi, Kawuku and Namasuba trading centres.

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