NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – The Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) on Friday announced a countrywide Easter special blood donation initiative that is set to begin from April 12 to April 30.
KNBTS National Director Margaret Oduor said through the blood drive, they plan to raise a total of 20,000 units to address a shortage currently being experienced.
“In a month, the bank is supposed to collect a total 30,000 units of blood. If this is met monthly, then we will be able to meet the annual requirement of blood.”
“To ease the shortage, we have decided to run an Easter special blood drive in the month of April so that we can address the shortage.”
“The countrywide drive will run from this Saturday, April 12 to Wednesday 23 in Nairobi. Thereafter until the end of the month the drive will move across our other centers in Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa and Embu among other satellite stations,” she explained.
According to Oduor, a series of terror attacks and road accidents in the country are to blame for the shortage due to the high number of casualties that usually need blood transfusion.
“It is important to note that the demand for blood and blood products is on the increase owing to the increased incidents of road traffic injuries, terrorist attacks and maternal deliveries complications.”
“We therefore call upon all Kenyans to demonstrate a sense of patriotism and concern for fellow countrymen who may be in need of blood by standing up to be counted as voluntary-non-remunerated regular blood donors.”
“On behalf of the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service, I would like to call on all Kenyans of between ages 16 and 65 to come forward and donate blood.”
“This is perhaps the greatest gift you can give your brother, sister, father, mother, friend or neighbour during this season when Christians are marking the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” she urged.
Last September following the Westgate terror attack, the service pitched tent at the Uhuru Park where they managed to collect 14,584 pints of blood some of which was used to transfuse the victims and the rest stored in the blood bank.
Rose Shonko, who coordinated the six-day blood drive said they the recorded the highest donation within such a short period of time.
Shonko urged Kenyans not to wait for such tragedies to come out in large numbers to donate but instead develop a regular donating culture.