NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged corporations and individuals to support initiatives to establish mobile blood units in the country.
The First Lady said sufficient supply of blood in a timely manner will save lives of Kenyans in need of transfusions.
She pledged her full support for convenient and accessible facilities where Kenyans can walk and donate blood.
The First Lady was speaking at State House Nairobi when she received 16-year-old student Erica Njeri Gachoka, a student at St Andrews School,
Turi, who paid her a courtesy call.
Gachoka will take part in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2013 to raise funds for purchase of mobile blood donation units in the country.
Gachoka’s initiative was sparked by numerous appeals for blood in the
media. She decided to participate in the marathon to help. She appealed to well-wishers to support the worthy cause.
The First Lady encouraged Kenyans to adopt a new culture of patriotic
voluntary regular blood donation to resolutely deal with maternal, child
and road accidents related deaths due to lack of blood.
“Mobile blood donation units, custom-made bus with donation beds, are
ideal because of safety, privacy and accessibility,” the First lady said.
One of the challenges of getting enough blood donors, the First Lady said,is lack of conveniently located donation sites. We need to take blood donation services to potential donors’ areas of operation.
She added that adequate blood stock is of national strategic importance
especially in case of major disasters that require blood transfusion.
“Blood is a key component in achieving millennium Development goals 3 and 4 on reducing child and maternal mortality. We have less than 1,000 days to go before meeting the targets set for the Millennium Development
Goals,” she said.
BloodLink Foundation Executive Director Joseph Wang’endo, who
accompanied Ms Gachoka, said his organisation partners with National
Blood Transfusion Service in recruitment and mobilisation of blood donors to ensure sufficient safe blood for needy Kenyans.
Wang’endo said the Foundation has launched a campaign to raise Sh4.3 million ($50,000) to purchase a mobile blood donation unit. The
Foundation has championed blood donation at the work places, universities and schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Health since 2004.