Press release.

Embu

Embargo until- 17th December 2014 at 12.00 Noon;

KENYA NATIONAL BLOOD TRANSFUSION SERVICE, BLOOD DONATION CAMPAIGN 2014/2015.

The Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service has initiated a nationwide blood donation campaign targeting the adult blood donors. The campaign that has been going on now for three months, it started in September this year in Nyeri County and will cover 11 counties in Kenya on a pilot basis and will later be rolled out in the remaining counties in the country.

The campaign has been necessitated by the perennial shortage of blood and blood products especially in the months of April, August and December when schools and other institutions of learning go on recess. A research conducted by KNBTS recently indicated that adult blood donors are more reliable and responsive than those in institutions since they do not go on holiday and in most cases they usually have a permanent address.

The Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service collected a total of 186,000 units of blood last year against a national requirement of 400,000 units. This under performance could be attributed to the poor blood donation culture among adult blood donors and in some instances gross lack of awareness among potential blood donors.

Blood donation apathy among adult donors has resulted to low collections while the same adult donors are the highest recipient of blood. There is therefore great need to create a culture of voluntary blood donation through constant engagement with the adult donors through information, education and communication.

In Kenya 2 of every 3 units of blood are transfused to mothers and children. It is unfortunate that Kenya has one of the highest maternal mortality rates worldwide at 488 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births,  that translates to about 20 women dying every day from child birth related complications. The leading cause of maternal mortality is bleeding just before or after childbirth or due to a miscarriage, induced abortions and other pregnancy related complications such as tubal pregnancy.

The demand for blood and blood product is on the rise owing to the sporadic terror attacks, road traffic injuries, cancer cases and anemia occasioned by Malaria and other medical conditions.

This campaign therefore will attempt to mitigate the current scenario in an effort to offer Kenyans a more secure treatment and most importantly to save lives.

It is envisaged that at the end of this campaign in the month of July 2015, the Kenya National blood transfusion service will have collected a total of 150,000 units of blood.

The campaign is in Embu today, and will go to Mwea on Sunday 21st December 2014 and later on monthly basis to, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Uasinigishu, Kajiado, Laikipia and Nairobi. This will happen on every third Sunday of the month. The campaign is sponsored by Royal Media Services’ Inooro FM, Rotary club of Kenya among others.

MARGARET ODOUR,

DIRECTOR KNBTS.

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