By Steven Ainganiza
Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital has been hit by a terrible blood shortage says Dr. James Ngobi the Director Fort Portal Blood Bank.
Dr. Ngobi attributes the shortage to the negative attitude of the people of Rwenzori region towards blood donation.
He explains that the blood bank now faces the budget constraints after Americans through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funding pulled out remaining only with government assistance that cannot enable them transport staff to the rural communities to mobilize people and collect blood.
He reveals that Fort Portal regional blood bank requires 27,000 units of blood per annum and at least 2000 units per month but they only collect 800 units a month.
Dr. Ngobi appeals to the public to embrace the campaign and start donating saying this week, they have launched a one week Blood Donation Drive in Fort Portal at Balya Green Belt, KCB Bank, Mpanga market and Kabundaire.
Herbert Mugerwa the Blood donor recruitment officer says after Christmas is a dangerous period when all the blood is consumed and students who are major donors are in holidays.
Mugerwa asks people of Rwenzori region to donate blood to save the lives of Ugandans during this blood donation drive in Fort Portal town that commenced on Monday and ending on Saturday.
Mugerwa says that shortage of blood in the region has affected mostly the pregnant mothers, children below five, cancer patients, accident victims and people undergoing surgery.
Mid-September last year, eight people died at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital following an acute blood shortage.
Fort Portal Regional blood bank serves patients from the districts of Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kasese, Bunyangabu and others from DR Congo.