Tuesday, 11 June 2013


In the photo Officers of Blood Transfusion Service prepare a place along the walkway below the Constitutional Square!  That is how pathetic Uganda has got to. 

Inside the Constitutional Square is where under normal circumstance be where donors would collect and donate blood.  But trust Uganda Politics, the place is kept by Police!

The two attached photos show the situation.  Those to collect blood are outside the Constitutional Square where they would be at home, courtesy NRM's leadership!
The 1st photo shows preparation to collect blood outside the Constitutional Square.
The second photo shows the Constitutional Square which is out of bounds!

William Kituuka 

Blood shortage is a bloody affair

Publish Date: Jun 09, 2013
Blood shortage is a bloody affair
Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) officials say they lack testing kits.
By Simon Kaheru
First of all, the Government should spend more on health. Secondly, so should we - wananchi - directly.

Third, there are not too many differences between the Government and private sector, and yet there are massive differences between the Government and private sector. Confusing? That is Uganda.

When the story about hospitals lacking blood hit the front page this week, I quickly engaged lugezigezi and Googled the number of the Blood Bank.

During the time I had not been paying attention, someone had created the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) instead - and thankfully, they had a website. On top of that, the website works and gave me the numbers of the director, including her personal mobile phone number.

They were off. (I later learnt she was out of the country). But I persisted and sent an SMS, then an email. I was astonished, nay, shocked to get a reply just two hours later! From a government department!

I should not have been — this was a reminder that there are some good people working within our drab, low-paying, mundane (all assumptions) Government offices, who operate almost as efficiently as the impressive Ugandans working in high-paying, fashionable and vibrant (more assumptions) ‘corporate’ offices.

But then, supporting three above, in contrast, I am still waiting for a response from some Ugandans in specifically big corporate bodies; one, a telecommunications firm that has failed to recognise the meaning of the phrase: “Change this number from Talk Time, Post-Paid to Pre-Paid Pay As You Go” inspite of my having put it in writing on more than one occasion, backed up by verbal discussions; the second is a car dealership with an official, high-level franchise and a former employee engaged in fraud at a known location in Ntinda.

The Ugandans at the telecommunications firm are known to me by name, number and face, but still will not reply my emails or call me back, in spite of verbal promises to do so.
The car dealership, on the other hand, does not even have a valid website as the one listed on the business cards they distribute simply does not exist. And none of them cares, in spite of the myth that the Customer is King.

Back to the blood. The response I got from the UBTS was that the Government had, indeed, provided funds to purchase testing kits without them, blood donations could not take place, ergo the shortage.

I was invited, in the same email, to donate my blood and mobilise people to head over to blood collection centres at Fort Portal, Gulu, Mbale, Arua, Mbarara, Jinja, Hoima, Kabale, Rukungiri, Kitovu and Masaka. So go and donate blood.

But then I thought - I have never heard about a crisis shortage of key materials in the production of alcohol, cigarettes, soda beverages, cosmetics and so on and so forth. What does it say about us? That we have very efficient Ugandans running companies that make these things, but somehow we have other Ugandans who can allow blood testing kits to run out ENTIRELY?
Should we lure all those Ugandans working for breweries and cigarette companies into government service? But then again, how come there are also Ugandans ably collecting blood and engaging with a random citizen by email so readily (six emails that day alone)?

Mind-boggling probably defining what it is like to run this country.

Then, reading further into the story, the figures stuck out: Uganda needs 300,000 units of blood per year and 1,200,000 testing kits whose cost we do not know, though actual test fees are sh12,500 each.

So, if each Member of Parliament gathers 1,000 constituents to hand in a unit of blood every six months, we will be in a position to export blood to Kenya! For the money, Kampala weddings cost an average sh80m these days, and the average wedding contribution is sh100,000…okay, make it sh50,000.

Meanwhile, I am arranging for the telecommunications firm employees giving me grief and the fraudulent Ntinda mechanic to donate a really large amount of blood as my contribution to the Blood Bank..I mean, Blood Transfusion Services.

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