Oil palm growers boost blood donation drive in Kalangala

DAVID NSUBUGA

A joint task-force comprising of different stakeholders in Kalangala district are undertaking a vigorous mobilisation campaign to convince residents in the islands to embrace the life-saving practice of donating blood.

Owing to the recent blood shortages that affected the various parts of the country, the district leadership in January embarked on a joint campaign to sensitize the communities about the need to donate blood; a practice that is not common in the islands.

The Kalangala deputy Resident District Commissioner, Teopista Lule Ssenkungo, explains that being an island area with unique characteristics and transport challenges, they realised that patients in the islands are at higher risk of dying due to lack of blood.

“On top of conducting massive public sensitisation on the different platforms across the district, we have also identified corporate entities operating from the Islands as potential pools of blood donation; the efforts are yielding good results,” Ssenkungo said.

The blood donation campaign’s success will as well prove the district’s capacity to sustain a fully-fledged blood bank station for Ssese Islands.

Kalangala lining up for the blood donation excercise.

The campaign received a boost from Oil Palm Uganda Limited (OPUL) with a blood donation camp at its Bwendero Community Health Centre as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility.

The health centre’s in-charge, Dr Hood Lubega Ssuubi said, the drive was intended to dispel the underlying public misconceptions about blood donation.

While OPUL is pledging to support blood donation drives in the Ssese Islands, Damanik Sartdin, the Oil Palm Uganda Limited Estates Manager, challenged Uganda Blood Transfusion Serviles to roll out their activities to isolated communities to enable people appreciate the realities about blood donation other than waiting for crises that have often cost lives.