May 30, 2013

Soroti Referral Hospital Blood Shortage Leaves 8 Dead

At least eight people have died in Soroti and Amuria districts due to lack of blood.

Three of the victims died at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital while five others died at St. Clare Health Centre Three in Orungo Sub County, Amuria district.
Sister Celestine Amongin, the in charge St. Clare Orungo Health Centre Three, a Catholic founded hospital with a bed capacity of one hundred, confirmed the deaths and said the victims were anaemic.

Amongin, who did not identify the names of the deceased, told Uganda Radio Network on phone that three of them were infants while two were above five years.

The hospital receives patients from Amuria, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Lira, Alebtong and from Tubur sub-county in Soroti district.

Those who died at Soroti Hospital include Esther Alupo, a 64 year-old resident of Magoro Sub County in Katakwi district who died on May 27 while waiting for  a major operation which could not be done due to lack of blood. Lydia Abio a five year old girl from Amuria died on Tuesday, while Rapheal Enotu, aged three years and hailing from Kapir in Ngora district, died a day before.

Dr. Joseph Epodoi, the acting Director of Soroti Regional Referral Hospital told Uganda Radio Network that lack of blood is currently a national challenge. Epodoi says Soroti is in touch with Mbale Blood Bank for assistance.

He pointed out that most children who are admitted at the hospital are anaemic and need blood transfusion.

Dr. Epodoi attributed the shortage of blood to holidays because students have been among the main blood donors. He added that Soroti does not have a blood bank and they also rely on blood supplies from Mbale regional referral hospital.

A senior official at the hospital who declined to be named told URN that 10 children who are  admitted at the pediatric unit are supposed to undergo blood transfusion and have been put on oxygen because of lack of blood.

He says the 10 children who are on oxygen are in critical condition and if blood does not arrive on Thursday, their lives would be in real danger.

Charles Okiror, a resident of Dadas in Katakwi told URN that his mother who is in critical condition is  among the three patients in the queue waiting to undergo major operation but there is no blood.

Soroti regional referral hospital has been supplying blood to other health units in the districts of Amuria, Katakwi, Kaberamaido and Serere.

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