Nile Breweries partners with Red Cross to collect over 800 units of blood

Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) on Tuesday teamed up with the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) to mobilize over 800 units of blood over a 3-day period in Kampala, Jinja and Mbarara districts.

The partnership comes at a time when Uganda is mandated to raise 1 per cent of the country’s total population in form of blood units as per global standards (WHO guidelines).

Speaking at the event at City Square Kampala, the Director of Health and Social Services (URCS), Dr Okwera Josephine said as per WHO guidelines the country which has 40 million people, requires 400,000 units of blood annually to meet the blood needs of the country. However, due to several factors, many times Uganda doesn’t meet this requirement.

“Through an MOU with Ministry of Health, URCS, working closely with Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS), is mandated to carry out blood donor recruitment and mobilization countrywide,” she said.

Dr Okwera added that having partners such as NBL join the blood mobilization drive reassures their commitment to partnership that brings lasting social value to the well-being of the communities they serve.

The Legal and Corporate Affairs Director Nile Breweries Limited Onapito Ekomoloit reaffirmed the company’s commitment to supporting life-saving and improving initiatives such as blood donation. “Our dream is to create a future with more cheers. This means working with the government. Law enforcement, public safety organization, academia, other companies and civil society to enable a sustainable future for communities and improve their lives.”

He added, “We focus on empowering local communities with information, skills and life improvement tools of which mobilizing blood to save more lives is one of them, and we are pleased to partner with URCS, UBTS and Uganda Traffic Police in this noble cause.”

He noted that NBL will also donate a bar of soap to each blood donor at all the locations to assist in promoting hygiene, amid the high commodity prices. Also revealed that the blood donation campaign would enable the company to draw attention to road safety during this period since accident victims have been identified as among the patients needing blood most.

“Uganda Traffic Police statistics show 118 people were killed in road crashes between April 24 and May 4 this year. In response to the call to the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety from the United Nations, our mother company, ABInBev has put in motion plans and actions to improve road safety around the world. We want to help achieve the goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 per cent between 2021-2030.”

Dr Charles Olaro, the Director in charge of Clinical Services in the Ministry of Health welcomed the partnership and alluded that blood is a critical requirement for human beings and it can only be got through donations.

“We require at least one per cent of the country’s population in form of blood units. This means with over 40 million people; we need at least 400,000 units of blood annually. This has to come from people through donations. The aspect of donating blood is, therefore, an aspect of solidarity that should be embraced by everyone to help extend life to others,” Dr Olaro said.

Meanwhile, the donation drive is in commemoration of World Blood Donor Day 2022 under the theme ‘Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives’ which aims to draw attention to the roles that voluntary blood donation plays in saving lives and enhancing solidarity within communities.

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