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Inter-faith blood donation campaign gets underway

An inter-faith blood donation campaign will be held in Nairobi this weekend to address the blood shortage that has faced the country.

The campaign has been organized by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Kenya National Blood Transfusion, Tissue and Human Organ Transplantation, SGRR Sikh Temple and the Universal Peace Federation.

The blood drive brings different religious groups that will be held on Saturday and Sunday at SGRR Sikh Temple in Land Mawe.

The country has been facing a blood crisis since the Blood Donation Program that was funded by the US government was stopped.

President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar) stopped providing Sh2 billion annual funding from September 2019.

Last week, the Kenyatta National Hospital said it had a daily shortfall of 160 units.

KNH board chairman Nicholas Gumbo said they only get 40 units per day against a demand of 200 units.

Kenya’s blood stocks have been running low since mid-last year. They are now at a critical level.

The blood shortage is not limited to county hospitals in far-flung townships. It is a countrywide.

Our current national demand stands at 500,000 units per year. However, KNBTS blood collection has stood at around 150,000 to 200,000 units a year.

Daily demand should stand at 1,100 units but, at the moment, it is up to 2,000 units. There is no reason for the shortage.

According to the Ministry of Health, the loss of blood before, during or after childbirth is the leading cause of death among mothers in Kenya, killing two out of five women.