Kenyans urged to donate blood as collection rate drops by close to 50%

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Health CAS Rashid Aman donating blood shortly after his press address. Photo/courtesy

Kenyans have been urged to donate blood even as the blood collection rate drops owing to the Coronavirus pandemic and other factors. Speaking on Friday at the KICC grounds in preparation for the World Blood Donation day to be held on Sunday, Health CAS Rashid Aman said Kenyans should come out voluntarily and give blood, “Giving a pint of blood does not take a great deal from anyone other than the time you take to be able to draw that pint of blood,” he said.

According to the Word Health Organization recommendations, the minimum blood donation rate should be 1% of a country’s population annually, meaning Kenya should have around 500,000 pints of blood a year and 1,370 pints of blood every day to have sufficient blood in the bank. However, Kenya has been recording a collection of about 164000 pints a year over the last few years, translating to about 450 pints a day.

The CAS noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has made things harder globally and it’s estimated there has been a 70% or 80% drop in blood collection around the world. Kenya has subsequently recorded a drop from 450 pints a day to around 250 pints a day. “We need to impress upon each other the importance of acting collectively,” he said, in relation to working together to donate more blood. However, he acknowledged that the National Blood Transfusion Service has faced challenges and that the government is working to solve any issues, including building up the NBTS capacity.