In Uganda today, nearly 50% of inpatient deaths among children under-five are attributed to malaria which causes severe anemia. Therefore, 50% of all blood collected in Uganda is used to treat these children. Haemorrhage contributes to 34% to all maternal deaths in Uganda hence 30% of donated blood is used to save lives of pregnant women with complications of pregnancy and child birth, including Haemorrhage and malaria-induced anemia.
Blood remains a scarce resource in many hospitals and therefore calls for combined efforts to mobilise it in a bid to save lives. Uganda Red Cross has a role of mobilizing blood donors in the country. On 27th August, 2016, the Uganda Red Cross Society received a delegation from China who had come to explore opportunities of partnership with the Uganda Red Cross Society to support blood donor recruitment. The delegation was led by Wang Rupeng, the Vice president of the Red Cross society of China, Liu Xuanguo, the Vice chairperson of the Chinese foundation among others. Much as they have been partners before, the partnership is being shifted from emergency response support to blood transfusion services. The delegation visited the URCS- Jinja branch to pilot the project.
While addressing the team in Jinja Wang Rupeng, the vice chairperson of the Red Cross Society of China thanked the Uganda Red Cross Society for the good partnership and also promised to continue supporting URCS activities.
The visit was graced by Robert Kwesiga, the URCS secretary general, Ms. Sarah Mutegombwa, the blood donor recruitment program manager, the Chairperson of the URCS central governing board, the chairperson of the Jinja branch governing board, the Jinja branch manager, other board members and volunteers of URCS with Jinja branch, members of the fourth estate, represntatives from partners like the Uganda blood transfusion services and Ministry of health among others.
While speaking to the teams in Jinja at a blood donation drive, the URCS Secretary General thanked China Red Cross delegation for supporting URCS in this blood cause. “Thank you our partners from China for showing readiness to work with us on this great cause. Uganda needs 340,000 units of blood which our volunteers can raise if we are well coordinated. With your support, we can make this blood program better and raise the required units of blood and save lives of Ugandans. ” Kwesiga emphasized