Nairobi City County acting Governor Ann Kananu and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Mohamed Badi on Tuesday unveiled a new blood collection center at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.
The new center is expected to boost the blood collection by the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service that has gradually been dropping due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means that the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital officially becomes the first collection centre within the Nairobi Metropolitan Centre.
The NMS, the county government and KNBTS also agreed to avail three more collection centres in Nairobi to ensure a steady supply.
According to Ms Kananu, the new development will help recipients from waiting for long hours for donation from friends and relatives who share the same blood group.
“This kind of technological transformation will go a long way in ensuring a steady and reliable blood supply,” she said.
She encouraged members of the public to visit the facility and donate blood without any fear. The NMS boss Mohamed Badi said that Nairobi requires at least 50,000 pints of blood to address rising cases.
He said that the NMS is committed to setting up more blood collection centres in partnership with the KNBTS and other likeminded partners.
“Smartbank Blood Banking is key. Having a steady reliable blood supply is critical towards addressing national disasters, saving lives,” he said.
The passing of the 2010 constitution devolved healthcare to address the gaps in healthcare and ensure equity and access to all citizens,” he added.
According to statistics from the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service, Kenya has been collecting about 450 pints of blood everyday but this dropped to between 70 and 80 percent due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Nduku Kilonzo of KNBS said that Kenya needs at least 1million units per year but the country has been collecting less. She also said that the agency is working with the ministry to address challenges that have faced blood transfusion in the country.
“We are thinking of how to leverage opportunities available to us so that we can be accountable to the blood that we collect,” she said.
She said that they are exploring the use of technology to help track blood banks and their respective components to increase accountability.
The new measures will go a long way in ensuring that Kenya and Nairobi in particular does not run empty blood banks.