Blood shortage hurts war on malaria

What you need to know:

  • Medical Superintendent Austin Acheri said regional blood collection centres in neighbouring counties such as Kisumu and Eldoret did not have enough stocks.
  • She said the hospital had a shortage of blood groups compatible with samples obtained from the patients. As a result, there was a delay in carrying out blood transfusions to save the lives of the children.
  • County Health Services Executive Peninah Mukabane said the Kakamega General Hospital does not have a blood-screening centre, which is undermining the emergency response to the outbreak.

The shortage of blood in Kakamega has complicated efforts to fight a malaria outbreak in the county.

Seven children have died of the disease in the past five days, with more than 100 people still admitted to the Kakamega General Hospital. Most of them are children.

Medical Superintendent Austin Acheri said regional blood collection centres in neighbouring counties such as Kisumu and Eldoret did not have enough stocks.

“We are trying all we can to save the patients. If the situation fails to improve, there will be more deaths,” said Dr Acheri.

“We contacted the management of the Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret and the Nyanza General Hospital in Kisumu, seeking help, but failed to the get required blood supply,” he said.

County Health Services Executive Peninah Mukabane said the Kakamega General Hospital does not have a blood-screening centre, which is undermining the emergency response to the outbreak.

TRANSFUSIONS

She said the hospital had a shortage of blood groups compatible with samples obtained from the patients. As a result, there was a delay in carrying out blood transfusions to save the lives of the children.

Mrs Mukabane said the county government had launched a campaign in schools to collect up to 1,000 pints of blood per week to replenish the stocks at the hospital.

Dr Acheri appealed to residents and schools to donate blood to save lives.
“We will be in a position to save the situation if blood donors turn out in large numbers,” he said.

Mrs Mukabane said the county government was setting up a blood-screening centre at a cost of Sh21 million. The centre is expected to be opened in two months.

She said a new consignment of malaria drugs from the Kenya Medical Supply Agency would be delivered to the hospital on Monday next week.
The paediatric ward has been crowded since the malaria outbreak hit the area, with three to four children sharing a bed.

Mrs Mukabane said the regional government had bought new beds, mattresses and linen, which would be delivered to the hospital once the ongoing renovation of wards is complete.
She said nurses on leave had been recalled to help attend to the patients.

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