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Blood Shortage Hits Ugandan Hospitals As COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions Bite

The COVID-19 lockdown measures have negatively affected blood collection causing shortage of blood in many of hospitals across the country,The Uganda Blood Transfusion services (UBTS) has said.

 Appearing before The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday, Dr. Dorothy Byabazaire, the UBTS Director said that if COVID-19 pandemic continues, they may be forced to require the relatives of patients to provide blood to the hospital for their sick person in need of it.

She said that the lockdown restrictions have contributed to the  reduction of blood donation hence causing a shortage in blood supply .

She told the committee that since July 2019 to June 2020, UBTS   collected 288,663 units of blood against a target of 300,000 units but from April 2020   to date only 56,850 units of blood have been collected against a target of 75,000 units performance.

However, the Woman Member of Parliament for Amudat District, Rosemary Nawaut questioned the officials from UBTS  as to why they have few blood donor beds to the extent of chasing away people  willing  to donate blood

In her response,  Dr.Byabazaire said that they are faced with the challenges of inadequate funds, infrastructure, inappropriate use of blood in hospitals and outdated vehicles to carry out their mandate as required.

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