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Danger looms as city blood bank runs dry

The regional blood bank is facing an acute shortage, a situation made worse by cold weather and school holidays.

Only a paltry 80 units against a monthly demand of 6,000 is in stock at the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS), say the officials.

High school and college students account for 60 percent of annual blood collections and school holidays in the months of April, August and December mean that they are not available to donate.

County blood donor recruiter James Mwangi says potential blood donors tend to take a back seat during cold and rainy seasons.

“The unfortunate thing is that the chilly weather has come in December, one of our lowest months in blood collection rates,” he said.

Alarmed by the current state of affairs, the the blood bank, together with other partners, is scheduled to hold a major blood collection drive in the county.

Mr Mwangi says the drive whose date is yet to be confirmed, will target donors in the slums as well as those in the city’s police training camps.

The past week has experienced poor turnout in collection centres at the county’s Central Business District.

NBTS director, Dr Margaret Oduor, says improved systems need to be put in place to educate Kenyans on matters concerning blood donation.

“We collected a paltry 500 units in the week, which was way below our targets,” she said, adding that most people assume blood collected after the Westgate attack is still useful.