Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu is facing a severe blood shortage leaving patients in dire need of blood transfusion services.
Dr Venice Omona, the in-charge of the Paediatrics Ward says that the most affected departments include the casualty ward, maternity and children ward.
Omona explained that the children ward requires 20 units of blood daily for children suffering from acute malaria and sickle cell anaemia.
However, he noted that the ward receives less than 5 units of blood leaving the larger number of patients to get blood from their relatives.
“We have lost patients here who required blood transfusions, at the time we couldn’t help and deaths have continued to occur” Dr Omona added.
Jonathan Opiyo, the laboratory technician in the hospital revealed that the hospital requires 70 units of blood for patients every day but only gets 20 units from Uganda Blood Bank.
Opiyo however explained that the staff in the hospital had been donating blood to close on the gaps but noted that the majority of them are now exhausted.
Opiyo further revealed the highest prevalence of Hepatitis B in the region is among the major factors affecting blood donations.
Alice Aciro, a 50-year-old woman from Buyale trading centre in Kyrandongo district is among the mothers with children battling sickle cell anaemia in the hospital whose lives depend on blood transfusions.
Aciro has been to the hospital for the last three months with one of her grandsons battling with sickle cell anaemia. She says that the nurses were able to save her son with blood offer when the hospital had completely run out of the blood.