The National Blood Transfusion Centre (NBTC) has received a boost that will enhance the availability of blood as Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) launched a campaign in which soldiers will donate blood in the different barracks in the country.
The launch took place yesterday at Kanombe Military Barracks in Kigali, an event graced by General Patrick Nyamvumba, the Chief of Defence Staff of the Rwandan Defence Forces, State Minister for Health Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi among other officials who donated blood to kick start the campaign.
According to Lt Col. Rene Ngendahimana, the acting Defence and Military spokesperson, the campaign will reach out to the different barracks across the country giving the soldiers an opportunity to voluntarily donate blood.
In an interview with the media, Ngendahimana said that they do not have a specific target number of soldiers they expect to donate blood but expressed optimism that by the end of the campaign, a good amount will have been collected.
At Kanombe Barracks where the campaign was launched, Ngendahimana said that between 350 to 450 units were expected to be collected on the launch day and about 1000 units will have been collected on Sunday at the end of the campaign at the barracks.
He highlighted that the campaign was in response to a call made by the Ministry of Health to Rwandans to donate blood in order to increase its availability in the country’s health units.
“We decided to do this because it is our responsibility to help citizens whenever there is need. We can even say that the Ministry of Health delayed to call us for this because we have always been more than ready to step in if Rwandans need our help,” he said.
Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi, called the campaign a “noble act” towards saving Rwandans lives.
“If you donate blood you are giving life. There is nothing as good as knowing that someone is living because of you,” he said.
He noted also the strides the ministry has made in efforts to make blood available in the different health institutions where it is needed.
Among these, he noted the continuous campaigns always carried out calling on people to donate blood.
He also spoke about the availability of high precision technology capable of separating blood components so that a person gets only the component he needs during a blood transfusion.
He called upon Rwandans to always support the blood donation campaigns in the country.
Every year, 45000 patients need blood transfusion. These patients include accident victims, people suffering from diseases like malaria, mothers during delivery of babies, among others.
In Rwanda, the units of blood collected have been increasing. In 2014, 43 000 blood units were collected, in 2015, 53 000 units were collected and in 2016, 60 000 units were collected, according to the Ministry of Health.