By Max Patrico Ocaido
Government has released up to Shs5bn to provide supplies to curb the blood crisis that has engulfed the entire country.
State minister of Health for General Duties, Sarah Opendi confirmed on Tuesday during plenary that ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has released the money to the ministry of Health to respond to the current blood crisis.
“We admit that there is a blood crisis in the country, but as I speak now, Shs5bn has been released by Finance ministry to take us through up to June,” Opendi said.
Aruu South County MP Odonga Otto blamed the blood crisis on hospitals that sell the same blood to people who donated it freely.
“People can’t donate blood for free yet it’s being sold to patients in hospitals. My people told me that they can’t donate freely yet the same blood is sold to them at Shs1m in hospitals,” Otto said.
He urged the ministry of Health to mobilize a campaign where they pay people to donate blood since it is also being sold to them in hospitals.
“Let us give people that Shs1m to people so that they donate blood then you will see how we shall be overwhelmed by blood,” Otto added.
Ibanda North County MP David Guma Gumisiriza blamed the shortage of blood on poor administration that has failed to mobilize Ugandans to donate blood.
Minister Opendi reaffirmed that transmission of blood in health centres is for free and that those who are selling it shall be investigated and necessary action taken.
“My humble request is for Ugandans to donate blood because we don’t have any factory to manufacture blood,” she said.
The issue of blood shortage was a matter of discussion after Mitooma district Woman MP Jovah Kamateeka with horror referred to a recent incident in Bundibugyo where a man was caught on camera slitting the neck of a guinea pig, drawing its blood and using it on a patient who would have, under normal circumstances required human blood.