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Students offer blood for Valentines’ Day

The Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority (KTTA)  has teamed up with the Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to mobilize students to  donate blood for love in a symbolic commemoration of the St valentine’s day marked on the 14 of February every year.

The team targeted to net a stockpile of at least 25,000 pints of blood from the students during the weeklong exercise that kicked off on the 11th of February until the 19th of the same month to boost the local blood bank reservoir.

The Valentine Blood Donation   campaign under the theme “Show your Love, Save a Life,  was earlier launched  in Juja, Kiambu County was intended to be processed and stored for future use by patients in various health centres in the country.

Speaking during the launching the at JKUAT, the CECM for Health, Kiambu County Dr Elias Maina Mbuthia, said that KTTA, being the successor to the Department of the National Blood Transfusion, Tissue and Human Organ Transplant Services was tasked with the safety of recipients to ensure the exercise complied with legal and related requirements.

medics preparing to take bllod from donors at JKUAT

“It  is required to ensure the safety, biosafety and wellbeing of donors and recipients in medical services relating to human derived medical products through the establishment and maintenance of systems  comply with safety and legal requirements,” he stressed.

He said the authority will be tasked with regulating all services relating to human cells, tissue and organ transplant in accordance with the Health Act, 2017, register and license facilities and establishments dealing with human cells, tissues and organs and transplant services, maintain a registry of transplant service providers, donors and recipients as well as establish an equitable mechanism for matching and allocation of cells, tissue and organs.

In addition to mobilizing the public to come forward and donate blood, the week-long campaign is also aimed increasing public awareness on the importance of donating blood.

The blood donation drive targets young adults aged between 18 to 35 years, one of the reasons which informed the decision to pick Kenyatta University as the launch venue because of the student population at the institution.

Dr Rebecca Kiptui, who is the CEO at the KTTA, said that in recognition of the centrality of blood to universal health coverage (UHC) success and in implementation of the Health Act 2019, the mandate of the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service was expanded to include Tissue and Human Organs, leading to the establishment of the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority (KTTA).

Dr Kiptui added: “The Authority intends to build a blood donation culture to attain a perpetual annual collection of 1 million units to safeguard gains made in UHC. Availability of blood will impact maternal survival, reduce waiting times for Kenyans on dialysis and chemotherapy treatment and reduce mortality from trauma. Kenyans living with blood and bleeding disorders will have an improved quality of life.”

After the launch in Kiambu at JKUAT, other blood donation activities are scheduled for Embu College in Embu County, Standard Chartered Car Park in Nakuru Town in Nakuru County,

By Wanagari Ndirangu

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