Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has urged students in high schools, colleges and universities, to adopt the culture of donating blood regularly to ensure availability of blood in hospitals during emergencies.
Speaking at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital during a tour of the facility where he launched an Oxygen plant and other facilities, Mr Kagwe appealed to students to lead in the initiative of donating blood in Meru County and the country as a whole.
“I would like to make a special appeal to our high schools, colleges and universities, especially the student leadership and unions, to take it upon themselves and start internal competitions about who is giving more blood,” said Kagwe adding that this will replenish the blood banks in the country that were almost running dry.
Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service Dr Nduku Kilonzo, also reiterated the call and emphasised the importance of blood donations amongst the youths.
“When a doctor says you need blood, and there is no blood, there is no substitute for that product.Therefore to ensure we save lives of people in emergency situations, we need to donate blood and I usually encourage people to do it when celebrating their birthdays,” said Dr Kilonzo.
Kagwe lauded the Meru County government for the establishment of a satellite blood transfusion centre, with a capacity of packaging and storing over 12,000 blood units.
He termed it as a key milestone in ensuring availability of blood in Meru County.
“I am very proud that the county has a satellite blood transfusion centre that ensures availability of blood in this region whenever required,” said Kagwe.
He further noted that the country expects to move its national blood storage capacity, from 20,500 units to 49,500 units by the end of July 2021.
Health Ministry has also procured three additional cold rooms from the current rooms that are under rehabilitation, together with eight additional freezers and fridges all for storing blood.
By Dickson Mwiti and Erick Otieno