The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is targeting collection of over 6,000 units of blood in a week long countrywide blood donation drive.
The NSSF’s 9th annual blood donation drive was launched today at Mulago Hospital.
Speaking at the launch, the NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba said they made it an annual activity, collecting blood at a time when institutions of learning, the highest source of blood donors are in holiday. The NSSF drive usually takes place in January.
Themed “Stand up for life,” Byarugaba said the donation drive will take place at the Constitutional Square in Kampala, Workers House, Clock Tower, Mukwano Arcade and Owino Market, Kalerwe, Bwaise, Mukono, and Entebbe. It will also be held at NSSF upcountry branches in Mbale, Mbarara, Gulu, Arua, Fort Portal, Jinja, Mukono, Kabale and Masaka.
Byarugaba said a potential blood shortage affects everyone indiscriminately regardless of stature and standing in society. That’s why the organisation is committing resource to champion blood collection drive.
“We are one of the organisations that has a footprint across the country or whose business affects a wider population. We are passionate about the communities we serve and believe a healthy community is critical for the fulfillment of our mandate. That is why we are committing resources and our office spaces this week as donation collection points,” he said.
Last year, the NSSF blood donation drive helped Uganda Blood Transfusion Service (UBTS) collect over 4,500 units of blood. Uganda needs about 340,000 units of blood annually.
UTBS Director, Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune commended NSSF for championing donation drive, saying that whereas as UBTS, they is mandated to collect 1,200 units of blood daily to meet the country’s demand, they are only able to collect under 800, units due to various challenges that range from access to funding and other logistics.
Dr Kyeyune also revealed that they had no blood shortage during Christmas festival business of support they are receiving from local organisations.
She said UBTS is devising means of depending less on students as source of blood. As a result, Dr. Kyeyune said they will be depending on partners with footprint across the country to reach out to the general population.
Since 2016, Dr. Kyeyune said blood collection drive has been funded internally by government and corporate organisations. She said they will need more internal corporate organisation support if they are to meet daily blood demand across the country.