Residents of Bungoma and the wider Western region are set to benefit after the county government started the construction of a 10.8 million blood transfusion centre.
Addressing the press on Thursday at Bungoma County Referral hospital during the ground breaking ceremony of the centre, Bungoma’s CEC for Health Anthony Walela said the blood bank will go a long way in helping patients who have always had to travel to Eldoret and Kisumu to get blood.
Dr Walela said that its saddening to note that fifty percent of mothers who die while giving birth in the county is due to lack of blood.
Dr Walela noted that there are only six blood bank centres in the country and the western region has none with the nearest ones being in Eldoret and Kisumu.
He explained that there are different components in the blood that include red blood cells, platelets, plasma, white blood cells that must be broken down and a times patients do not need all the blood but a specific component that can only be retrieved in a blood bank.
He also said that faith-based and private hospitals within the county also require access to blood for free.
Blood donation appeal
The contractor of the project said that the company will complete the project within the set timeline.
Bungoma County Health Chief Officer Patrick Wandili said that the county had been trying to construct the bank centre for a while but due to budget constraints, the project was postponed constantly.
« For us, this is a dream that we want to come through because as a region we need this centre like yesterday, » he said.
« I am happy that this financial year we have managed to allocate money for it, » he added.
Dr Walela said that plans are in top gear to also get an oxygen plant in the county.
Bungoma County Referral Hospital medical superintendent David Wanikina asked residents to come out and donate blood.
« We have a huge population as the fifth most populous county in the country and we need to collect about 2000 units of blood every month that will go a long way in saving lives, » he said.
Dr Wanikina noted that the county gets most of its blood from schools and now that the schools have closed it’s a big challenge.
« We have close to fifty percent of our children and expectant mothers in wards who cannot go through surgery due to lack of blood and I want to make a passionate appeal to our people to come out in large numbers and donate blood to save lives, » he said.