School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences hosts blood donation camp in conjunction with the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Services

By Shreena Patel and Heeral Vaghela

Every year on June 14, Blood Donor Day is observed worldwide to raise awareness for the need for blood donations for medical purposes. To mark the day, a blood donation camp was organized and held by the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (SPHS) in collaboration with the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Services (KNBTS) on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 in USIU-Africa. The event attracted a total of 110 donors who collectively gave 104 units of blood that were deposited in the national blood bank.

Blood transfusion is crucial for health care systems, blood donations are vital for saving patients experiencing acute critical illness or chronic diseases such as severe blood disorders, oncologic conditions, and serious hemorrhagic complications after surgery, delivery, or major accidents. According to KNBTS, Kenya’s annual demand of blood stands at 500,000 units against the average 175,000 units being collected. These figures indicate a deficit of 325,000 units.

Misconceptions about blood donations, perceived harms and risks, and lack of motivation among potential donors have hampered the blood donation drives and this has led to blood scarcity being frequently encountered in health-care settings. However, if public awareness is done properly and eligible populations do donate frequently, the deficit and shortages experienced in the country can be avoided and the KNBTS will have a surplus.

Within a few hours of a donation, the human body can regenerate blood. Doctors advise blood donations every 3 months because they assist our bodies to get rid of waste blood and create new blood that keeps one healthier. It also lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes, reduces the risk of cancer, burns calories and aids in free blood analysis.

The team’s experience during the whole journey of the initiative was quite enlightening. The success of the event has encouraged them to carry out more awareness projects in the future.

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