Fit and healthy persons in Bunyoro Region are urged to always donate blood to feed the blood bank whose construction work was today (Monday) launched at Hoima District headquarters in Kasiingo Cell, West Division in Hoima City.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Dorothy Kyeyune Byabazaire, the Executive Director Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS), urged all able people of Bunyoro to ensure that they embrace blood donation exercises in order to keep enough blood in the bank instead of leaving the exercises to students only.
She encouraged and urged both leaders and the entire communities in the region to ensure that they propagate the gospel of blood donation without limit so the blood bank is optimally utilised to achieve the goal.
The medic said if people do not donate blood, the blood bank will not be of any value to them as those in need of transfusion will not get it due to its shortage despite the existence of the infrastructure.
Dr Sophie Namasopo, the Director Hoima Regional Referral Hospital, stressed the need to donate blood to save lives revealing that 55 mothers died while or after delivering in 2021 and a number of children and other patients also lost their lives due to lack of blood for transfusion.
The physician was optimistic that coupled with the construction of the blood bank and enthusiasm for people in the region to donate blood, cases of patients losing their lives due to blood shortage will drastically reduce.
Dr Joseph Ruyonga, the Member of Parliament for West Division, Hoima Oil City, disclosed that Bunyoro being ranked second to Kampala in maternal deaths and other deaths due to anemia caused by malaria, it was deemed right for Hoima to have a blood bank in order to relatively reduce such challenges in the region.
The Hoima District Local Government Vice Chairman, Mr Benson Chiche Rukumba, described it as unfortunate losing mothers giving birth due to lack blood urging the people of Bunyoro to take it upon themselves and ensure that they donate blood for the good health of those who will be in need of it and their relatives.
He was optimistic that the construction of a blood bank in Hoima will encourage blood donors towards the noble cause.
At the function, the Hoima City Mayor, Mr Brian Kaboyo, pledged to champion and encourage blood donation among the people of Bunyoro now that a blood bank is being constructed in Hoima to help save lives of the people of Bunyoro.
He underscored the importance of blood donation saying it saves lives among childbearing mothers and anaemic patients who need blood transfusions badly.
Work for the construction of the Shs4.5b Hoima blood bank is funded under the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer Programme (UGIFT).
Construction work is projected to be completed in one year with the contract awarded to Geses Uganda Ltd.
Eng Peter Nkurunungi of Geses Uganda Ltd, called for cooperation from political leaders right from the area where construction work is being done to ensure that construction materials are not stolen by some unscrupulous individuals at the expense of better service delivery.
“I appeal for cooperation starting from LC 1 leaders where construction work is being done so that we [contractors] can do quality work for the people of Bunyoro. If we don’t cooperate, people will steal construction materials and fail the project or delay the completion of the construction works,” he said.
Hoima blood bank will serve eight districts of Bunyoro region including Kiryandongo, Masindi, Buliisa, Hoima, Kikuube, Kagadi, Kibaale and Kakumiro and Hoima city and Kiboga and Kyankwanzi districts in the central region.