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Looming crisis in Nyanza as blood banks run dry


Dec. 03, 2019

Patients in the Nyanza region are staring at tough times ahead owing to lack of blood in public facilities, which is already affecting cases where blood transfusion is needed.
The situation emanates from dried-up blood banks, which has reportedly been caused by the United States' withdrawal of its funding for blood-related services in Kenya.
The same has been doubled-up by the sorry state at the region's blood bank in Kisumu, which is unable to receive donations due to lack of necessary equipment, including blood-bags.
Lack of testing tools and reagents is the other reason that forced the facility to have the little blood donated by locals last week, taken to Nairobi for screening.
The same has badly affected operations in public hospitals, including the region's largest hospital; Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) .
"The crisis has made it hard to carry out some surgeries. We encourage people to donate blood,” said Peter Okoth, the facility's Chief Executive Officer.
The situation is similar at the Kisumu County Hospital, which also had no platelets in stock, as was confirmed by the facility's Acting Medical Superintendent Thaddaeus Massawa.
"For those who need platelets, we are referring them to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. The situations is bad," he said.
Only private facilities have confided having blood stocks, with some now depending on donations from relatives of surgery patients for cases involving surgeries.
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