Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority (KTTA) has denied that there is a shortage of blood across the Country.
Dr. Rebecca Kiptui, the CEO of the KTTA said that they have carried out numerous campaigns sensitizing Kenyans to donate blood to various centers across the Country.
“I would like to state there is no shortage of blood in the Country but people should continue to donate and help those in need, especially with rare blood groups,” she said.
She said that Kenya collected 348,715 pints of blood in 2022 70% of the targeted total of 500,000 pints and the highest collection since independence.
“This year, KTTA and its other partner organizations aim to collect 1 million pints which is the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) target, ‘she said.
She said this during the launch of a blood drive donation that was held at Jomo Kenyatta University of science and technology where they targeted 10,000 people to donate blood.
She further denied reports that medical officers have been stealing donated blood in Kenya and selling it in Somalia.
Dr. Kiptui further said that the agency is at the forefront of digitizing its services to ensuring that there is proper framework in the health ministry.
She added that the Authority intends to build a blood donation culture to attain a perpetual annual collection of 1 million units to safeguard gains made in UHC.
She said that the availability of blood will impact maternal survival, reduce waiting times for Kenyans on dialysis and chemotherapy treatment and reduce mortality from trauma.
Dr. Elias Maina Mbuthia, the CECM for Health, Kiambu County, said that KTTA, being the successor to the Department of the National Blood Transfusion, Tissue, and Human Organ Transplant Services, is required to ensure the safety, biosafety, and well-being of donors.
He said his would only be possible through the establishment and maintenance of systems that comply with safety and legal requirements.
“The authority will be tasked with regulating all services relating to human cells, tissue, and organ transplant per the Health Act, 2017, register and license facilities and establishments dealing with human cells, tissues and organs and transplant services, maintain a registry of transplant service providers, donors, and recipients as well as establish an equitable mechanism for matching and allocation of cells, tissue, and organs.” He said.
Alfred Obengo, a KTTA board member said that they will continue pushing for a proper framework to guide the sector.
She said that six regional blood transfusion centers: Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, Mombasa, Embu, and the satellite centers at the Counties will continue collecting blood as they have been doing in the past.
“The blood donation drive targets young adults aged between 18 to 35 years, one of the reasons which informed the decision to pick Kenyatta University as the launch venue because of the student population at the institution,’ he said.