KMTC takes lead in Countrywide Blood Donation Drive

KMTC takes lead in Countrywide Blood Donation Drive

The Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) has partnered with the Ministry of Health and the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority, in a countrywide blood donation drive themed “Kenyan by blood.”

Speaking during the national launch at the KMTC headquarters grounds (on Friday, November 18, 2022), Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ms. Susan Nakhumicha, in a speech read on her behalf by Head of Health Services Dr. Zainabu Gura, reported that the Ministry intends to go beyond the minimum clinical need for blood to collect the optimum need, which is one million (1,000,000) units annually into perpetuity.

The CS noted that achieving this would require each Kenyan to consider blood donation an act of patriotism. “It requires that each eligible Kenyan becomes a regular donor,” she added.

She further noted that “blood collections have risen by 250 percent over the last two years to their highest ever, being 348,507 units collected in the Financial Year 2021/2022. However, this is still 30 percent below our minimum need of 500,000 units annually.”

Towards supporting the initiative to encourage Kenyans to become regular blood donors, the CS reported that the Ministry would contribute up to Kshs. 800,000,000 million towards this campaign, by ensuring that each blood unit is safe for transfusion by testing for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, and C in addition to undertaking blood grouping.

“Inter-Ministerial partnerships, such as between the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority and the Kenya Medical Training College will be leveraged to ensure our joint strengths are optimized,” she added.

KMTC Board Chairperson Amb. Zachary Muburi Muita stated the College will take advantage of its extensive Campus network to support the blood donation initiative, to ensure “this precious life-giving commodity is available as and at where it is needed”.

“This partnership stands to accelerate Kenya as a hub for medical care for the region and with the potential of manufacturing blood derivative components which are essential for saving lives,” he further remarked.

The Chairperson revealed that the health manpower overseeing the safe drawing, screening, and storage of blood in the six regional blood banks in the country are all products of the College. “KMTC, therefore, continues to demonstrate, through its graduates practicing in the health sector, the quality of training offered in the College,” he added.

On his part, KMTC CEO Dr. Kelly Oluoch divulged that up to 75% of the health care cadres trained in the College, work in environments where surgeries, trauma cases, blood disorders, Obstetrics emergencies, complications of pregnancies among other clinical conditions, that demand blood transfusion.

In addition, he said KMTC Nairobi is home to a Center of Excellence in phlebotomy. “With this in mind, we sought to establish this partnership to foster the creation of awareness and advocacy among Kenyan youths by building a blood donation culture,” he said.

Dr. Oluoch reported that Managers of blood donor services are trained at KMTC and the College would be graduating 84 Diplomas in Medical Laboratory Sciences in addition to 19 Higher Diplomas with specializations in Blood Transfusion Science, Haematology, Histopathology, Microbiology, and Clinical Chemistry.

KTTA Chairperson Dr. Janet Kabeberi, represented by Board Director Mr. Alfred Obengo, speaking on her organization’s mandate of ensuring access to the safe and ethical use of human tissues and organs, encouraged Kenyans to support the initiative to collect 500,000 units of blood annually.

On the other hand, KTTA acting CEO Dr. Nduku Kilonzo conveyed her gratitude to the College for welcoming and supporting the partnership, towards saving lives.

First daughter Ms. Charlene Ruto, the Kenyan by-blood champion, called upon Kenyans to come out in large numbers and donate blood that would go towards helping those in dire need of it.

The event was attended by among others representatives of the Red Cross, the Rotary Club of Kenya, and the Boda Boda Association.

The Kenyan by blood campaign seeks to leverage the patriotic nature of the Kenyan youth to develop a blood donation culture to ensure there is sufficient safe blood for every Kenyan. The countrywide blood drive will go on for the next six months and all are encouraged to donate.