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COCA-COLA AFRICA, PARTNERS LAUNCH MASSIVE BLOOD DONATION DRIVE

By Twine Victor

Following persistent and chronic shortages of safe blood in Ugandan hospitals, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) in Uganda working with the National Blood Bank and Kampala Rotary Club Munyonyo have launched a weeklong exercise to enable and encourage Ugandans to donate blood to save countless lives across the country.

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Statistics from the Uganda Red Cross Society indicate that all hospitals in Uganda receive 250,000 units of blood annually, contrary to 350,000 units recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This implies Ugandan hospitals suffer huge shortages of blood annually, leading to loss of lives that would have been saved.

The drive, dubbed “Give Blood And Keep The World Beating”, will be carried out in various parts across the country with support from CCBA, Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS), Rotary Blood Bank Mengo, Uganda Red Cross Society, MTN Uganda, Next Media, Indian Association of Uganda among others.

It is intended to raise the level of public awareness on the importance of and need for regular blood donations to ensure easy, affordable and timely  access to safe and quality blood and its products. The drive is one of CCBA’s key community initiatives to address this blood shortage and bolster Uganda’s heath care programme.

“Many Ugandans struggle to find safe blood available because donations are low and equipment to test blood is scarce. This blood donation drive will assist to change this situation and we call upon all members of the public to take part in it,” Peter Kagwa, President of Rotary Club of Munyonyo in Uganda and Chief Mobiliser of the Blood Donation Drive, said at the launch at Munyonyo on June 8, 2021.

The capital Kampala, various districts and other cities such as Jinja, Masaka, Mbale and Fort Portal and neighbouring towns including Entebbe will participate in the blood donation initiative.

Every year leading up to June 14, all countries globally celebrate World Blood Donor Day to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving generosity.

The purpose is to provide regular donations of blood to ensure all individuals and communities who are in need get safe, affordable blood and in time.

It’s part of the universal health coverage and a key component of effective health systems. “CCBA would like to try to contribute to the betterment of our healthcare and as we approach the International Blood Donor Day on 14th June, we want to reach out to Ugandans to donate blood and fill the deficit that we are now experiencing,” said Simon Kaheru, Public Affairs and Communications Director, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.

“An adequate supply of safe blood can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary blood donors. Therefore, we are joining this drive to thank blood donors and encourage more people to give blood freely in order to save lives,” Kaheru added. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com). 

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