UBTS Seeks Tough Laws to Cub Down Sell of Blood in Hospitals

The Uganda blood transfusion services (UBTS) is seeking tougher laws to fight the sale of blood in hospitals. This has come at the time when UBTS is partnering with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in a blood donation drive aiming at collecting rare blood types.

The Penal Code, the Anti-Corruption Act, and the Public Health Act, among others, have provisions that can catch individuals selling blood, but however this has caught none despite the ongoing practice.

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Ambrose Mugume, the senior blood donors advocate from the UBTS said that there is scarcity of a blood type of O negative in the country. He explains that people having a blood type of O negative can’t receive any type of blood, making them vulnerable.

He also said that currently the blood nation drives with NSSF is to take place in central Uganda only because of limited funding.

Juliet Adong the principal assistant secretary UBTS said that the drive is to be conducted in four areas Nakasero blood Bank, Hoima, Masaka and Jinja targeting the rare blood types.

William Mugisha the principal blood donor coordinator revealed that they have realized that there is a spike within the blood transfusion facilities. He also said that there are reduced amounts of negative blood. This has come due to increased cases of surgeries done by different hospitals, which was not the case before.

He added that they are below the required units of blood that need to be collected. According to the World Health Organization, a country needs to collect 1 percent of the blood of its population.

Mugisha said that they have often not been hitting the required units of blood that need to be collected.  

Barbra Arimi, the head of marketing and corporate affairs at NSSF, said that these partnerships are part of their corporate social responsibility.

She adds that in this partnership with the UBTS they have given out  equipment such as refrigerators for blood storage and a preservation centrifuge.

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