By Sylvia Kugonza
FORT PORTAL: Blood shortage has hit Fort Portal Regional Blood bank putting the lives of patients at risk of losing their lives, if people don’t change their attitude towards donation.
Dr.James Ngobi the Director Fort Portal Blood Bank discloses that they are experiencing blood shortage following high demand.
He attributes the shortage to the negative attitude of the people of Rwenzori region towards blood donation.
Dr.Ngobi explains that blood banks now faces the budget constraints after Americans through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funding pulled out remaining only with government assistance that cannot enable them transport staff to the rural communities to mobilize people and collect blood.
“Fort Portal regional blood bank requires 27,000 units of blood per annum and atleast 2000 per months but we only collect 800 units a month”, Dr. Ngobi narrates.
Dr.Ngobi is now encouraging people to embrace the campaign and start donating saying this week they have launched a one week Blood Donation Drive in Fort Portal at Balya Green Belt, KCB Bank, Mpanga market and Kabundaire.
Herbert Mugerwa the Blood donor recruiter says after Christmas is a dangerous period when all the blood is consumed and students who are major donors are in holidays.
Mugerwa asks all the people to be responsible and start donating blood to save the lives of Ugandans during this blood donation drive in Fort Portal town that commenced on Monday 8th and ends on Saturday 13th.
“The shortage of blood affects mostly the pregnant mothers, children below five, cancer patients, accident victims and people undergoing surgery” Mugerwa revealed.
Mid-September last year, eight people died at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital following an acute blood shortage.
Fort Portal Regional blood bank serves the districts of Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo,Kamwenge,
Bundibugyo,Ntoroko,Kasese, Bunyangabu and some patients from DR Congo.