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NSSF launches week-long blood donation drive

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NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba donates blood during the launch of this year's week-long NSSF blood donation drive.

NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba donates blood during the launch of this year’s week-long NSSF blood donation drive.

By Our Reporter

Ugandans have been urged to join the NSSF National Blood Donation Drive taking place across the country to prevent a blood shortage in local hospitals during the school holidays.

“Uganda’s healthcare system uses about 1,500 units of blood daily, but we as the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services(UBTS) can collect only on average 1,250 units daily of the required blood. The problem of shortage can become critical especially during December and January when learning institutions are closed,” said Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune, the Executive Director of the UBTS at the Ministry of Health.

The annual NSSF Blood Donation Drive takes place this week, starting Monday, January 13th to Friday, January 17th at various locations across the country.

Addressing the media at Workers House in Kampala, NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba said the annual drive is in in response to an appeal from partners to collect more blood to prevent shortages that normally hit the country in January.

“Given that blood is unique and cannot be manufactured, it therefore means that regular donations by unpaid blood donors remains the only source of sufficient, quality and safe blood. Our campaign is aimed at recruiting voluntary, unpaid blood donors across the country,” he said.

Donation centres in Kampala have been set up at City Square, Clock Tower, Mukwano Arcade, Sekaziga House, Good Shade, Bwaise Roundabout, Workers House Lobby, William Street, Kibuye Roundabout and Nateete at Samona Building.

In Mukono, the centre is located at Sombe Supermarket and in Entebbe, at Kitooro town.

Other centres are located in major towns countrywide. These include Hoima (Katikara Market), Masaka (Kirumba TC and Katwe TC), Jinja (Central Market), Mbarara (Independence Park Grounds) and Gulu (Gulu Main Market).

In Lira the drive will take place at Alebtong Ajuri Market, Fort Portal at Mpanga Market, Bududa at Bududa Corner and in Nebbi at Pentagon Grounds.

Byarugaba said that for sustainability purposes, the NSSF Blood Donation campaign also aims at promoting a blood donation culture amongst Ugandans, thus enabling Uganda to meet the health sector’s safe blood requirements.

According to the World Health Organisation, the recommended blood collection rate is 10 whole blood units per 1,000 inhabitants.

The campaign launch also saw some blood transfusion beneficiaries recount how their lives were saved because safe blood was available in hospitals at the time of need.

Anne Ssempijja and Evelyn Awor both narrated how they developed complications during child birth and were saved by a blood transfusion at a critical moment they needed blood.

“No one can tell if I would be alive today had I not received blood in such an hour of need,” Ssempijja said.

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Companies

MTN Uganda launches 5G connectivity, first in East Africa and 3rd in Africa with connection

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By Reporter

MTN Uganda has today taken internet connectivity to another level. With fourth-generation (4G) technology still staggering, the leading telecom company in Uganda has introduced 5G connectivity. At an event today at the offices in Kololo, MTN Uganda demonstrated the first live demo of 5G network in Uganda in an event presided over by Prime Minister Dr. Ruhana Rugunda who represented President Yoweri Museveni fulfilling their earlier promise to commercially roll out 5G in before 2020 ends.“5G will make our life better, drive incremental capacity and open up new businesses. MTN as a company is constantly making efforts to break barriers by democratizing voice and data connectivity in order to improve subscriber experience,” said MTN Uganda’s CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte.

It is also expected that with an adequate spectrum allocated to the 5G standard, the increased capacity would result in lower data cost to Uganda.

MTN is working with South Korean firm ZTE the market leaders in 5G. ZTE is already working with operators to out 5+.

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Local Business

MTN MoMoPay Customers to win free shopping worth UGX 1,000,000 in a Trolley Dash experience.

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By Staff Writer

MTN is set to reward its customers who have embraced paying for their goods and services using the Telecom giant’s mobile payment platform, MTN MoMo Pay.

MoMo Pay is an MTN service that allows customers to pay for their goods and services directly from their mobile money accounts using their mobile devices at no cost. Retailers and businesses receive the payments for the goods and services instantly.

Up to 20 customers will be selected from a draw to participate in a trolley dash where they shall be allowed to shop merchandise of up to 1 million shillings in 60 seconds. To stand a chance to enter the draw, customers are required to make 2 MoMoPay transactions each week. 

Ali Monzer the General Manager Mobile Financial Services said the promotion is MTN’s way of giving back to customers for adopting the service one year since it was launched. “The response from customers has been overwhelming. Many of the people have appreciated the convenience of having to pay for all their goods and services using MoMo Pay. Thus we felt the need to thank them by giving back to them and that’s why we launched this promotion.”

MoMo Pay is MTN’s way of creating convenience for customers and merchants alike. “The world is going cashless today. It’s now more convenient to go cashless than to carry lots of cash on you. You can literally run your life using MoMo Pay. You can pay for your meals, medication, car service, shopping and several other services using MoMo Pay,” Monzer said.

This service is available to merchants who register for the service and all MTN Mobile Money customers.

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Local Business

Harvest Money Expo 4th edition launched

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By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank in partnership with Vision Group and the Netherlands Embassy have launched this year’s edition of the Harvest Money Expo that will take place from 14 th – 16 th February, at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole.

Under the theme ‘Value Addition’, dfcu Bank and its partners seek to improve production and marketing of agricultural products to increase the commodity value in order to ensure a rise in sales, market growth and that farmers get a good price for their products.

The Harvest Money Expo initiative, now in its 4th edition, aims to highlight the contribution of agriculture to the development of the economy and also change the negative perception that most Ugandans hold towards agriculture as not being a good career option.

Speaking during the Expo launch, dfcu Bank’s CEO, Mathias Katamba, said; “The economy of Uganda can be transformed through mechanization improvement of agriculture, commercialization and taking advantage of the unique nature of our country’s weather and soils. As dfcu Bank, we would like to offer more support to the agricultural industry by giving farmers access to equipment for agricultural mechanization through our asset financing product.”

Mr. Katamba also reiterated the need to get young people involved in agriculture to grow the sector.

Last year, over 28,000 people attended the Harvest Money Expo. This year, the sponsors and organizers are aiming for a target of over 35,000 people who will include; farmers, business representatives, the general public, foreign exhibitors from various countries. The Netherlands Embassy has promised to have a ‘Netherlands Village’ at the Expo, where 48 companies including 16 top Dutch agriculture companies will showcase, share knowledge and farming experiences.

The Vision Group CEO, Robert Kabushenga said; “The Harvest Money Expo has become a calendar event for every farmer because of the benefits they get from it. It is also a social event where people come to socialize and share knowledge.”

This year’s Harvest Money Expo will also have in attendance all the past winners of the Best farmers’ competition.

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