Health CS warns of looming blood crisis

Written By: Asha Khamis/Purity Museo

Excessive bleeding after childbirth is the leading cause of maternal deaths in the country, accounting for 34pc of all maternal deaths in Kenya.

The government is warning of a looming blood crisis in the country with Kenya’s blood stocks reportedly running dry.

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Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki says the obtaining situation could compromise the country’s emergency response if urgent remedial measures are not taken.

The CS said Wednesday the country has a shortage of blood yet every 10 minutes, about seven Kenyans need blood and are at the risk of dying.

Kariuki said the country needed about 1,000,000 units of blood annually but only 164,275 units were collected last year by the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service.

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The challenge coming as the government mulls implementing a monthly routine blood drive program in an effort to boost the country’s blood stocks.

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Speaking during the launch of a national blood drive courtesy of the world’s highest blood donor, Arjun Mainali, Kariuki said the country was below World Health Organization blood storage levels recommendation.

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She appealed to the public and corporates to step up and donate blood to save lives.

The CS said to ensure sustainability in the blood bank, the Ministry would implement routine blood drives through increased public awareness.

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She said they would develop a robust legislative and regulatory framework to strengthen the blood transfusion governance structures and facilitate steady availability of the Country’s blood needs.

The highest blood donor in the world, Arjun Prasad Mainali is in the country to support the blood donation drive.

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