NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – The government is planning to convert the Kenya National blood Transfusion Service (KNTBS) into a parastatal in order to improve efficiency and management of blood in the country.
Health Mutahi Kagwe who officiated the Valentine’s Day blood donation at the KNTBS centre at Afya Annex on Wednesday said the move will help in restructuring of the body’s management and how it engages with stakeholders and Kenyans willing to donate blood.
“What we intend to do is to create this parastatal, remove it from a department within MOH, and make it a stand-alone institution that can be able to manage itself that can be able to source its staff without the incumbrance that comes with strict civil service structures,” he said.
He said the new parastatal will also resolve issues on staffing.
The Health CS highlighted the importance of transparency in managing blood in the country saying there was a big gap in policies related to blood management.
On policy development, he said the government will provide clarity on the process of tissue transplants through an executive order and subsequently legislation through Parliament.
“It is not just a question of collecting blood, donors contributing blood but its more about managing blood and ensuring that we are able to track it from giver to user, to know where it comes from and where it’s going, that is important to us, the element of transparency,” Kagwe said.
Kagwe pleaded with Kenyans to ask their valentine dates to donate blood in addition to offering them flowers and other gifts even as he thanked the citizens’ commitment to blood donation initiatives.
“If there is a gift that would be a fantastic gift to give Kenyans on valentine day is blood, if there is someone who wants to give you flowers, tell them in addition to flowers that I would appreciate you donating some blood,” he said.