19, Jan 2018 | CJP Team
The Guardian reported that there is a “critical shortage of blood” in Uganda, a situation that is impacting healthcare services and threatening patients’ lives. The health ministry’s blood bank in Kampala, “which stores and distributes supplies to hospitals, is practically empty.” The blood bank only has 150 units of blood left, which is not sufficient to fulfil the needs of the city on a regular day. Overall, Uganda requires at least 340,000 units of safe blood yearly, but typically only collects 200,000 units every year. The Uganda Medical Association, an umbrella group of doctors working at public health centres said that the situation was “almost [at] crisis level,” and was leading to surgeries being cancelled, and cases being prioritised. Uganda’s health budget has been slashed, from 1,850 trillion shillings in the ongoing fiscal year to 1,714 trillion shillings in 2018-19. Last year, 14 billion shillings was set aside for the national blood transfusion service and national medical stores, when at least 21 billion was needed.