There have been several complaints from some patients that health workers sell them units of blood
Officials from Nakasero Blood Bank have warned hospitals against selling blood to patients saying that each unit of blood should be given to a patient at no cost.
Speaking during a blood donation drive at Constitutional Square on Saturday organised by the East India Cultural Association (EICA), Janepher Draleru, a medical officer at Nakasero Blood Bank said they have received several complaints from some patients that health workers sell them units of blood.
“We do not expect anyone to sell blood, it should be given to patients at no cost. The complaints are coming from both government and private hospitals,” Draleru said
Draleru said unlike other school holidays many people have come up to donate blood.
She revealed that although there is no blood shortage at the moment, the public should not give up on donating whenever there is a drive. Blood group O+ is the most common blood type and is therefore needed by so many patients.
EICA chairman Aheesh Ahmad said they organised the blood donation because they want to save the lives of Ugandans who may require blood.
“We have been getting information of blood shortage in hospitals and this is why we came up with the Idea of organising a blood donation drive and our target is to collect 300 units of blood,” Ahmad said. By press time, they had collected about 100 units of blood.
EICA general secretary Vijay Raghunath said they intend to organise such blood donation drives in other parts of the country.
“This is the first time we are taking on this initiative of organising a blood donation, our plan is to reach out to the entire country,” Raghunath said.
Early this year, majority of the major hospitals in the country faced blood shortages. The blood bank facility was reported to be empty, with only about 100 units of blood available, rather than the thousand plus units required every day.
The recent blood shortage also affected Mulago National Referral Hospital because the facility then had a gap of 25 units of blood, and yet the hospital receives accident victims who over-bleed.
Speaking in a phone interview, the hospital’s spokesperson, Enock Kusasira, said that at the moment, the facility has enough units of blood for their patients.