The AMREF and Murang’a county government are holding talks aimed at boosting the local Blood Bank and accessibility of blood in all county hospitals.
In the partnership, Amref will help the county government to establish blood donor database which will assist in accessing needed blood at times of emergency.
The Country Director Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Dr. Meshack Ndirangu said in the programme dubbed Damu-Sasa, the organization will also help the county referral hospital in installing equipment for storage of blood.
“Our assistance is towards ensuring availability of quality and safe blood for transfusion when needed. Lack of blood in hospitals has occasioned deaths which can be prevented,” Ndirangu said adding that such partnership will be replicated in other counties too.
Establishment of database, the director noted will also help in managing discrepancies of blood groups, saying blood donors will be categorized in accordance with their blood groups.
“Currently we have partnered with the National Government in putting up mechanism of boosting blood donation and storage and we are targeting to bring all county governments on board,” he added after holding a consultative meeting with Murang’a.
The County Executive Member for Health, Joseph Mbai said the move is targeting to get 450,000 pints of blood needed in the country annually saying the country has managed to get a maximum of 180,000 pints per year.
Mbai said the partnership will help the county government to have a database of blood donors, admitting that currently the county hospital struggles to get blood in times of emergency.
Mbai observed that the county has a capacity to hold 120 pints which is too little compared to the need for blood.
“We are targeting to improve blood capacity to more than 300 pints and with the partnership with Amref we will address blood shortage and ensure at the time of emergency, blood can be easily accessed,” Mbai noted.
He called upon Kenya National Blood Transfusion Programme to establish more centers to accelerate screening of blood.
In central region, he said, there is only one centre at Embu where hospitals from the region are supposed to take blood for screening before it is used.
“The process for screening of blood is slow considering the centre is supposed to serve several counties and the National Blood Transfusion can think of establishing of more centers to fasten blood screening,” noted Mbai.
He noted that the partnership will be actualized once deliberations between the two parties will be through.
By Bernard Munyao