Uganda Red Cross Society is mandated through its auxiliary role to Government of Uganda to carry out blood donor recruitment countrywide, a role played to support Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) to reach its annual blood collection targets.
The World Health Organization (WHO), recommends that 1% of the country’s population gives blood which is currently at 400,000 target units annually for Uganda.
Blood cannot be manufactured in factories and is only donated by humans and yet, it remains a therapy for the management of ailments amongst patients with anemia especially children and mothers with pregnancy related complications, sickle cell anemia, trauma victims, medical and surgical operation cases.
Through the years, Uganda Red Cross Society has established a broad base of community blood donors that include our members, volunteers and partners. This has seen a tremendous increase in the amount of blood mobilized from the community.
Uganda Red Cross Society has also diversified its blood donor recruitment tactics and invested in the Electronic Recruitment of blood donors using the Blood4Uganda App which creates a real time database for blood donors even for rare blood types. The Blood 4 Uganda app has grown from 26 donors in November 2020 at its launch to 55,539 enrolled blood donors who have cumulatively donated 238,046 units of blood.
Uganda Red Cross Society has also devised a cutting-edge strategy to take blood donation to the community through our partnership with the Buganda Kingdom – Kabaka Foundation to conduct the Massaza blood donation drives that have contributed 157,798 units of blood, overall accounting for 26% of the national annual blood collection.
These new innovative ways of mobilizing blood by URCS have registered an increase from 120,098 units of blood in 2018/2019, to 180,726 units of blood in 2022/2023, contributing to 58% of the annual blood collections.
The current blood supplies as at June 2023 stood at 313,659 units which is 70% realization to the blood requirements. Uganda Red Cross Society needs to scale up the blood donor mobilization campaigns to cover the 30% gap, a figure that translates into lives lost due to lack of adequate blood for transfusion.
URCS envisages more public-private sector collaborations to promote blood donation drives in the community to motivate more people to regularly donate blood.