By Mike Sebalu
Officials at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) are concerned about a looming acute blood shortage in the country due to increased demand registered over the past few months.
The increased demand for blood is mainly attributed to the high rate of road crashes especially in the period before and during the festive season, a surge in malaria cases among children and pregnant mothers.
Samuel Wante, the blood collection team leader at Nakasero Blood Bank says the situation has prompted them to launch blood donation drives at every trading centre across the country to save the lives of Ugandans.
Uganda needs at least 400,000 units of blood every year but according to statistics from the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, only about 300,000 units are collected per year which is below the Wolrd Health Organisation (WHO) recommended target.
On a daily basis, Uganda utilises about1,000 units of blood across the country, a target the campaigners have set for week-long nationwide drive.
Wante notes that a man can donate blood up to 4 times a year, while women can donate 3 times a year.
In Kampala, the blood donation drives are stationed in different areas including Mukwano shopping arcade, Kiseka, Kawempe, and Nakawa markets.