Acute shortage of blood hits Bungoma

Bureaucracy delays buying of new containers for storage at county's bank

In Summary

•  Blood bank centre lacks bags to collect blood from donors.

• A blood bag goes for an average price of Sh300

The Bungoma reffral hospital.PHOTOS JOHN NALIANYA
Bungoma referral hosiptal The Bungoma reffral hospital.PHOTOS JOHN NALIANYA

Hospitals in Bungoma are facing an acute shortage of blood, putting many patients' lives at risk.

Bungoma blood bank boss Gossaje  Okumu said the shortage has been caused by lack of blood bags. He spoke on Thursday during  a health consultative meeting at Life Care Hospital.

"The centre has not had new blood bags for a while now. We are afraid that in case of an emergency, we will be in trouble," Okumu said.

He said efforts to reach the Bungoma county government's Health ministry for help have been futile. However, Okumu clarified that the blood bank is run by the national government at the Bungoma County Referral Hospital.

"We are only left with 100 bags of blood in our bank yet 600 are required on average monthly to serve health facilities in the county," he said.

Health executive Antony Walela, who was present during the meeting, blamed the problem on government bureaucracy .

He said his ministry had not budgeted for blood bags but would consider doing so in the next budget .

"I agree that we need sufficient blood in our bank but again we cannot just buy the blood bags without factoring them in our budget, otherwise, we will raise audit queries," Walela said.

Okumu said the few bags used to collect blood were donated by well wishers after he revealed the dire situation.

He said when schools are closed it is difficult to get blood since the majority of the donors are students.


Okumu said this was dangerous because if need arises in the health facilities, they will not be able to cope with the situation. He said they were now depending on the Eldoret Blood Bank.

A blood bag goes for an average price of Sh300.

Edited by Pamela Wanambisi