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Fort Portal Blood Bank Decries Poor Funding

During an interview with URN, the director, Archbald Bahizi, said the blood bank receives only 450 million shillings annually to run its activities yet they have to serves 37 transfusing facilities.
Fort Portal regional blood bank was opened in 2012.

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Fort Portal Regional Blood bank is struggling to operate due to poor funding.  

During an interview with URN, the director, Archbald Bahizi, said the blood bank receives only 450 million shillings annually to run its activities yet they have to serves 37 transfusing facilities.  

He says that every quarter they are supposed to collect at least 3000 units of blood but the money is too little to meet the day-to-day activities like paying accommodation for staff who at times spend nights in communities far from where they collect the blood.  

He also says that the blood bank is greatly relying on volunteers since they still lack 40 percent of government-paid staff but the challenge is that they are failing to cater for their meals and allowances.  

Currently, the Fort Portal regional blood bank has two teams that take different directions while going to the field to collect blood. Each of these teams is given one of the only two vehicles at the facility to transport equipment, staff and their luggage.  

But the director says that the vehicles are too few and they need at least more two Land cruisers to do the job. He notes that if this need is not addressed, they will keep risking the lives of their staff since the vehicles get overloaded and in case of an accident, it becomes hard to save their lives.  

He says that for the regional blood bank to operate effectively, they need at least 1 billion shillings annually.  

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Meanwhile, due to the overwhelming demand for blood, the regional blood bank has also rolled out a new strategy of collecting blood called concentrated session segmentation.

Here, the management of the facility partners with district leaders in the region starting from the LCV up to LC I, the Resident District Commissioners - RDCs, the Chief Administrative Officers – CAOs, the Community Development Officers – CDOs among others, to identify mobilizers of blood donors.  

Dr Bahizi says it is the mobilizers that are used to identify potential blood donors who are then sensitized on the importance of blood donation and its benefits.  

He says that with this strategy, they were able to collect 356 liters of blood last week and they hope that it will be more effective for the task.