By Sandra Birungi
A blood bank has been opened up in Gulu district.
The Gulu Regional Bank was opened up by the ministry of health and the Uganda Blood Transfusion Service (UBTS) yesterday, Thursday 12th Sept in middle of blood shortage in the country. 1.5 million US dollars (about sh3.9bn) was used to construct the bank. Other blood banks were opened up in Fort-portal, Mbarara, and Mbale as well as the one in Kampala.
The regional director Gulu Blood Bank, Dr. Sam Uringtho said a shortage of blood occurs whenever students are on holiday since they are the highest blood donors. At the moment, the region is collecting only 300 units of blood every week compared to 700 units that used to be collected during the insurgency when people were still living in camps.
Uringtho said the region needs about 2000 units of blood every month. “I want to encourage the community to donate blood because blood donation is a societal responsibility,” he said.
US Ambassador to Uganda, Scott H. DeLisi and health minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda are to officiate at the ceremony that will be held at Plot 6 Princess Road, Laro Division, Gulu Municipality.
Between 2004 and 2012, UBTS received 30.4 million dollars (about sh78bn) from the American people to support the provision of safe blood and blood products to health facilities throughout Uganda.