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Bunyoro-Kitara, URCS Strengthen Ties to Address Blood Shortage in Bunyoro

As His Royal Majesty Dr. Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I, the Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom (BKK), marks his 30th coronation anniversary, the kingdom has taken significant steps to address the pressing issue of blood shortages in the region.

In partnership with the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS), and other development partners, BKK organized the Omugo health camp and blood donation week at Kakindo Health Center from May 20th to 24th.

This initiative aimed to bring essential health services closer to the people and was inaugurated by the kingdom’s Prime Minister, Owek Andrew Byakutaga Ateenyi, and concluded by Her Majesty, Omugo Margaret Adyeri Karunga.

Leading the URCS team were Ms. Irene Nakasiita, Director of Communication, Resource Mobilization, and Partnerships, and Ms. Sarah Mutegombwa, Manager of Blood Donor Recruitment.

They were accompanied by Mr. Henry Benda, Team Leader of Hoima Blood Bank, and Princess Daphin Kabatalesa.

During the launch of the Omugo blood donation week, Prime Minister Byakutaga expressed his gratitude to URCS, Omugo Development Foundation (ODF), and other partners for their collaboration in the blood donation campaign.

He called upon the residents of Kakumiro and the greater Bunyoro region to actively participate in the blood donation drive and other activities marking the Omukama’s 30th coronation anniversary.

At the closing ceremony, Omugo Karunga thanked all voluntary blood donors and emphasized the ongoing need for blood donations, particularly to support mothers during childbirth and accident victims.

“Our regional blood bank will open in June, and we must ensure we have sufficient blood supplies. This blood is not manufactured but donated by generous individuals like you and me,” she remarked.

Ms. Irene Nakasiita expressed her appreciation to the Omukama for endorsing this vital partnership between URCS and BKK.

She underscored the importance of bringing blood donation drives closer to communities.

“We are thrilled with this partnership and the 1,201 units of blood collected during this week’s drive. This will significantly help bridge the existing blood gap in the BKK region,” Nakasiita said.

Currently, the annual target for the Bunyoro region is 50,000 units of blood, but only 15,000 units are collected annually.

However, with collaborations like the one between the Uganda Red Cross Society and the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, it is anticipated that this gap will be bridged effectively.

Her Majesty Omugo Margaret Adyeri Karunga officially signs a plaque card as a symbolic gesture marking the long-term blood donation partnership between Uganda Red Cross Society and the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.

URCS, in line with its auxiliary role, continues to work closely with UBTS to ensure the annual collection of blood units equivalent to 1% of the country’s population.

This partnership extends beyond healthcare institutions to involve cultural entities such as the Buganda, Bunyoro Kitara, and Busoga kingdoms, as well as religious leaders, to engage and attract more voluntary blood donors.