The Government has increased funding to the National Blood Transfussion Service Unit by 738% from 120 Million in the Financial Year 2017/18 to 886 Million in the Financial Year 2021/22 . Further the Ministry of Health has leveraged UHC funds with an additional Kenya shillings 700 million for blood services.
Speaking during the launch of the Damu- KE Conference, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said that increased budgetary allocation to the unit together with structural reforms have yielded remarkable improvement in blood transfusion services.
The PS noted that blood is used in all major surgeries, road traffic accidents and its un-availability results in avoidable deaths thus undoing the gains made in the health sector. “For instance, in 2020, 35% of our maternal deaths were due to bleeding complications, thus reducing the impact of Linda mama investments. Patients receiving cancer and kidney treatment, an area we have made significant investments require blood transfusions and therefore blood must be available where it is needed for Kenyans to benefit from these investments,” she said.
The PS informed that increased resources have expanded blood banking capacity by 100% from 24,000 units to current 53,000 units through procurement of blood fridges, freezers and cold rooms. “ We have secured our commodity supply chain to ensure that there are enough blood bags, testing and screening reagents in pipeline until 2023, and thus safely preparing for the upcoming elections,” the PS said.
She said the Ministry has also invested in automated machines for blood products preparation and that 25 counties are now able to prepare packed red cells, cryoprecipitate, plasma and platelets for treatment of cancer, kidney disease, burn patients and blood disorders such as sickle cell, anemia and hemophilia. She revealed that the government has also placed four Apheresis in Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu and thus providing the public sector with access to fresh platelets at no cost.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT have developed a Blood Banking Information System – Damu-KE. “This system will be used to track blood from the donor to the recipient thus ensuring accountability for donated blood,” the PS informed. The Damu- Ke Conference convened in Nairobi, the first in Eastern and Southern Africa brings together delegates from across the world to explore blood, cells, tissues and organs in an integrated manner in line with World Health Organization guidance and global practice from other jurisdictions.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Health, Kenya.