Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has inaugurated the National Advisory Committee to Oversee the Supply and Utilization of Blood and Blood Products.
The multi-disciplinary Committee that will be chaired by Mr Abbas Gullet will provide leadership in assisting, identifying, designing and implementing cost-effective blood utilization management initiatives for the optimization of patient care.
Speaking today at the Ministry headquarters in Afya House, the CS added that during its 12-month term, the Committee will advise on matters pertaining to blood supply, including those directly affecting the practice of transfusion medicine.
“It will facilitate development of guidelines and manuals for the use of blood products, identify opportunities to optimize transfusion medicine practices and provide leadership in the identification, design and implementation of blood utilization management initiatives for the optimization of patient care”, Kagwe said.
The CS said that at the end of its mandate, the committee is expected to have designed a data management framework with the capability of computing the needs for blood and blood products in every hospital or health facility.
It will further develop a system to resolve the perennial shortage of blood and blood products in Kenya and to have institutionalized blood management in support of county governments’ participation.
“They are expected to have monitored and set the standards in respect of blood donor recruitment, collection, testing, processing, storage, imports, exports, issuance and distribution of blood and blood products as well as disposal of waste blood”, he emphasized
Further, the Committee, CS Kagwe said is expected to draft a legislative and regulatory report setting out rules, regulations, orders and other measures required to give into effect the proposed reforms, including a Bill of Parliament on the proposed Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service.
“They will also draft a reform action plan and roadmap for the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service, detailing and initiating key reform interventions and the development of data architecture and framework for blood management, information and logistics system”, he added.
CS Kagwe described the Committee as part of the wider package of reforms taking place in the health docket.
“Looking at the mosaic of talent and expertise in this taskforce, I am convinced that you will rise to the occasion and take us to the level we want to go. I therefore this take this opportunity to congratulate you, and wish you the best of luck in this undertaking,” the Cabinet Secretary told the Committee.
Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache assured the Committee of her full support and that of the Ministry.
Committee Chair Abbas Gullet said: “I believe we are up to the task. We will do everything in our ability to deliver on our terms of reference.
Parliamentary Committee on Health Hon. Sabina Chege said the National Assembly will play its role in ensuring a watertight Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service Bill (National Assembly Bill No.6 of 2020) is passed.
Persons with any claim or complaint against the Government on the utilization of blood and blood products or blood supply are encouraged to submit such claim or complaint to the Committee for consideration.
Others Members of the Committee are Dr. Kibet Peter Shikuku , Dr. Elizabeth Wala , Bharat Thakrar, Dr. Patricia Murugami , Prof Bitange Ndemo and Joe Wangendo. Charles Rombo, Kiprono Chepkok and Dr. Thuranira Kaugiria will be the Joint Secretaries.
The ceremony was witnessed by Chief Administrative Secretaries Dr Rashid Aman and Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, Chair of National Assembly Health Committee Hon. Sabina Chege, Acting Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth and Deputy Director Dr. Laban Thiga and other Senior Ministry officials.
The Secretariat of the Advisory Committee will be based at the Ministry of Health, Afya House,
Last year, Kenya gathered 164,000 units of blood against the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended minimum of 1 percent of the population; that is 480,000 units.
The 480,000 units is the bare minimum that WHO expects of Kenya’s population ratio. The maximum is double the amount; that is 960,000 units per year.
By Wangari Ndirangu