Kampala- Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) has banned the sale of blood to Ugandans in all hospitals and threatened to arrest doctors and nurses.
While speaking to journalists on Friday at a blood donation drive at Kampala International School Uganda in Kampala, the senior nursing officer at the blood bank, Ms Joan Odyek, said they had received reports that some private hospitals were selling blood to patients.
“Blood is supposed to be free both in private and government hospitals across the country. The public should not buy blood because people who donate blood do it for free. If the hospitals ask you to buy blood, ask them the reason why they are making you buy blood and report those people to the authorities,” Ms Odyek said.
She said doctors, who will be caught selling blood, will arrested and risk losing their jobs.
“The patients should mark faces and names of those doctors selling blood to them because they risk losing their jobs. We are looking for doctors selling blood,” Ms Odyek said.
Speaking at the donation drive, property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia, the school director, said they organised the exercise to save mothers in delivery wards, accident victims and other clients.
Mr Ruparelia also said averting blood shortage in the country will require concerted efforts of all schools and institutions in the country.
“We are all potential patients and you will never know when you will need blood to survive or save your loved one,” he said.
“[Nationally], we need at least 340,000 units of safe blood annually, but usually government collects only 200,000 a year or less and the situation gets worse during school holidays. We do not want people to die because of lack of blood and that is why we are asking other schools to join this campaign,” Mr Ruparelia added.
The drive attracted different stakeholders ranging from Ministry of Health officials, UBTS staff, school managers, parents and selected students.