June 10, 2013

Two More Mothers Die In Amuria as Blood Shortage Persists

The number of deaths as a result of blood shortage in Soroti and Amuria districts has reached 10 after two more people died last week.
The number of deaths as a result of blood shortage in Soroti and Amuria districts has reached 10 after two more people died last week.Soroti Regional Referral Hospital in Soroti district and St Clare Health Centre III in Orungo Sub County, Amuria district, have been having a shortage of blood for transfusion, a situation that has affected the normal operations at the two health facilities.

Last week, officials at the Nakasero Blood Bank said there was a nationwide shortage of blood in health facilities.

Last week, two more people died due to lack of blood for transfusion at St Clare Health Centre. This brings the number of people who have died in the past two weeks at the health centre and Soroti Hospital to 10.

Sister Celestine Amongin, the In-charge St Clare Orungo Health Centre III, says two mothers died within two days as a result of anaemia. Amongin identifies the dead as Dinah who died on Wednesday evening on arrival to the facility, while Avagelina Agilo, a 27 year mother from Acowa Sub County in Amuria District died on Thursday night.

She explains that the deceased were anaemic but died because there was no blood for transfusion.

Amongin was speaking to Uganda Radio Network while at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital where she had taken Jorem Eladu, a four year old child who was in critical condition after being referred there from Orungo for Blood transfusion.

Orungo Health Centre III, Katakwi Health Centre IV, Amuria Health Centre IV and Kaberamaido Health Centre IV receive blood from Soroti Referral Hospital.

Amongin however, explains that the health centre last week received blood from Soroti Referral Hospital which was used up within days.

Orungo Health Centre treats patients from the districts of Kaberamaido, Amuria, Katakwi, Lira, Alebtong and parts of Tubur Sub-County in Soroti District.

Amongin explains that there are about eight children in critical condition who are in need of blood transfusion.
Peter Eyadu, a laboratory officer at St Clare Health Centre says the situation is scaring as the unit runs out of blood for transfusion.

According to one of the workers at Soroti blood Transfusion unit who declined to be named, they received about 80 units of blood last week that have all been used. In the past one week Soroti Regional referral Hospital had been particularly reserving available blood for emergency cases only.

Dr. Fred Kiria, the acting Hospital Director, said they had talked to Mbale Hospital and were willing to send Blood. Kiria told Redpepper Online that currently there are some ways the Hospital is trying to save lives of patients who are anaemic and on oxygen as they wait for blood from Mbale.

He appeals to people to donate blood voluntarily and save the patients.

Angela Asekenye, a mother of one of the patients who came from Awoja village in Soroti, is stranded at the hospital as she waits for blood. She says her eight-year-old child was admitted on Tuesday last week suffering from malaria.  At the pediatric unit several children who were supposed to have undergone blood transfusion were put on oxygen because of lack of blood while at the medical ward two male adults lay helplessly waiting for blood.

Thomson Obong, the Principal Hospital Administrator told our reporter on phone that if Soroti gets a blood bank they will no longer have to travel to Mbale to collect blood.

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