National News

Hunger affects blood donation -Red Cross

The demand for blood is very high in most hospitals across the country but the supply has drastically gone down as there are no people to donate blood due to hunger that has hit the country, South Sudan Red Cross official said.

Speaking to Juba Monitor in an interview yesterday, Blood Donor Recruitment Officer of South Sudan Red Cross who is based at National Blood Transfusion Service Centre, Mr. Duku Garlem said there is low turn up for blood donation at the Centre due to hunger impact.

“Even if we mobilize people for blood donation the turn up is always very slow and it is only the workers from the UN agencies and None Governmental Organization that do donate blood,” Garlem.

“Most people fear to give blood and they often complain of not having enough food to eat in order to give them more blood in their body, some time we only get back one or two units yet there is high demand for blood from the hospitals,” Duku said.

He said before the hunger had hit the country, many local people were coming to donate blood at the Centre. “These days to get only10 units of blood have become very difficult especially in market or places and other places where people are gathering.”

“But we can get good amount of blood only during big occasions that involves government officials, UN agencies and diplomatic missions,” Duku said.

He said they trying to work closely with government and its partner to make sure that blood is available in all the blood banks across the country.

One of the vendors at Custom market who requested for anonymity said, “I cannot donate any blood because you can even see my body and if I give like half litre, do you think it is easy to replace it due to this current crisis?” she asked.

On the 14th June, 2016 during the World Blood Day celebration in Juba over 500 people donated blood, according to the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS). However, since famine hit the country many people refused to donate blood citing lack of proper feeding.

By Kidega Livingstone

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