Residents of Bungoma County who are healthy and meet required criteria have been called upon to visit any blood donation centre and volunteer to donate blood.
According to Moses Mwetaya who is in charge of the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Services in Bungoma County, thirty per cent of blood donated by members of the public in various blood drives is consumed by sickle cell anemia patients.
“We have many blood donation centers in Bungoma or those volunteering can visit Bungoma County referral hospital and donate blood that will later save a life,” he said.
He was speaking to KNA at Bumula Sub county hospital on Wednesday during a blood donation drive that was organised by youth from Emerging Elders Foundation (ELF) to mark the youth service week.
He cited Kanduyi, Kabuchai and Bumula as areas that register high numbers of sickle cell patients adding that donating just one unit of blood is very crucial as it can save lives of many people who need blood.
Mwetaya noted that apart from sickle cell, malaria patients, those that have been involved in an accident, pregnant women in the maternity, cancerous and those undergoing surgery in theatres at times require blood transfusion for survival.
“We don’t just pick anybody to donate blood, there is a procedure that a donor follows and if he/she qualifies then he/she is given a chance to donate blood,” he said.
However, he noted that Bungoma has a central place, at Bungoma County Referral hospital where the donated blood is kept in a blood bank to serve emergency cases at the facility and others across the county.
He lauded Emerging leaders foundation for organising a blood drive asking residents to disregard some false information that if a person donates blood him dies or develops health complications.
“In any blood donation drive health officials are always present to give guidance, so let’s avoid giving much attention to some false information from people who don’t understand,” he said.
Brian Seli, the Emerging Leaders Foundation, Bungoma Chapter told the press that the organization decided to do a blood drive after realizing that Bungoma blood bank needs to surpass available stocks.
He said that the only challenge that the organization faces is few people turn up to donate blood.
By Mwangi Oliver and Roseland Lumwamu