In March 2020, the Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi launched a faith based blood donation drive bringing together religious denominations in the country under the theme “we are children of one God.” This unique blood donation drive 2020 is Kenya’s first inter-faith event aimed at contributing towards increasing blood availability to Kenyans who are in need of this precious commodity.
During the launch, the CAS noted that in order to increase access to blood, the Government has increased blood collection sites from 6 to 31 across 31 counties. It has also installed ultramodern testing and cold chain equipment which have been launched in Nairobi, Embu, Nakuru and Eldoret and plans are underway to instal in Mombasa and Kisumu.
The CAS revealed that for the first time, the ministry shall be procuring paediatric blood bags to curb on wastage of blood, mapping of blood donors and their blood groups which will be beneficial when sourcing for the rare blood groups and for targeted blood drives.
Dr. Mwangangi also highlighted that the Ministry shall be launching the National monthly blood donation day and a blood marathon to tap into local resources in addition to static blood donation sites at HUDUMA centres and at Post offices Centres and supermarkets. The ministry will subsequently improve Government funding to support services through the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Bill and leverage on technology to manage blood and blood products supplies.
It was further revealed that the government shall establish emergency/ disaster blood response unit with a blood buffer storage at key points and also foster partnerships with the Counties and Partners. The CAS thanked the religious leaders for coming together to organize the donate blood drive and urged the youth to join hands and embrace the culture of donating blood to save lives. She noted “This exercise contributes to improving your health as well by preventing certain diseases like blood cancers. I call upon the youth to continue the good gesture as you are our future leaders and must lead from the front towards making a real impact which might one day save the life of friend, of a loved one and possibly, your very own life”.