Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority (KTTA) in conjunction with Kenya Red cross have commemorated the world blood donor day by organising a blood donation drive.
Every year on June 14, the world unites to celebrate World Blood Donor Day, a day dedicated to recognising and honouring the countless volunteers, organisations and blood banks that work tirelessly to ensure a steady supply of safe blood to those in need.
Millions of people around the world rely on blood donations to survive and recover from illnesses or injuries.
This year’s theme ’Give blood, share life, share often’’ is set to remind the public of the incredible power we hold to make a difference.
“This is to remind you of that patient that needs blood and that the only solution is blood so donating yours will always be of great help,’ Said Grace Nzilani from Coastal Region Blood Transfusion Center. (CRBTC)
Nzilani explained that donating blood does not only benefit patients in need and save lives but it also benefits the donors’ body because it gets rid of the old and worn out tissues hence paving way for new tissues to be formed in the body.
She also stated that regular blood donations help maintain healthy iron levels in the body that reduce the risk of hemochromatosis which protects the body against cardiovascular diseases and minimizes heart attack risks.
“A patient should not wait for blood; blood should wait for patients”, Nzilani said.
Nzilani also stated with caution that the blood donated during the drive is meant to save lives not for sale.
“Blood can’t be sold, there might be a rumor out there but if there is anyone out there selling blood, then that is illegal and that person is a criminal,” Nzilani further explained.
“The community needs to be educated, People are not aware that by donating, we are able to get enough time for screening so that the blood is ready when needed,” said Keith Ziroh the County Blood Transfusion Coordinator.
Keith also said that they have an annual target of 25,150 units, 2006 monthly and 75 units of blood per day but have only managed to achieve 60% of the target.
Keith revealed that one is also able to acquire a donor’s card after donating blood which comes in handy when they need blood in future since it identifies the donor’s blood group.
Keith said that most donors who come forward do not possess Rhesus factor (O-) blood since it is scarce.
He urged people to come forward and donate blood rather than waiting when there’s a need for them to donate blood.
By Mariah Asumpta and Wangari Mwangi