Posted on May 14, 2018

Over the weekend, Rotaract clubs of SFB-Kigali and Uganda’s International Health Sciences University (IHSU) took their blood donation drive to Kagarama Secondary School in Kicukiro District, which saw students and staff at the school donate 36 units of blood.

The two clubs are part of Rotary International, an international service organisation whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services. Speaking to The New Times, Yvette Namahoro, one of the doctors who were part of the activity, said the exercise was a success.

“We were able to collect about 36 blood bags, equivalent to 36 blood units. This is a success given it was the first time we were conducting this activity at the school,” she said.

The exercise was held ahead of the World Blood Donor Day, a global annual event that promotes voluntary blood donation and celebrates donors. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there is a shortage of blood in Africa. Last year’s statistics indicate that a total of 5.6 million blood donations were collected from the African region. These accounted for only about 4 per cent of global donations, though the region is home to about 13 per cent of the global population. According to the president of Rotaract Club of SFB-Kigali, Jane Bamukunde, the voluntary blood donation activity was meant to drive awareness on the importance of donating blood.

“The two clubs partnered with Rwanda Biomedical Centre and the objective was to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need,” she said. She said that it is something that they want to consider doing every year to ensure that young people develop the passion of giving beyond self, which she said drives all Rotaract and rotary members across the world.