HUYE – The Minister of Health Dr. Jean-Damascène Ntawukuriryayo, over the weekend officiated the opening of a regional centre for blood transfusion in Huye district.
The centre was built and equipped at a cost of Frw200million. It will serve 15 district hospitals in the Southern and Western Provinces and it is also tasked with mobilising communities to donate, test, store and distribute blood.
According to Dr. Janvier Serumondo, the director of the Centre, students and people in the rural areas are the major blood donors to the centre.
Dr. Serumondo said, “Students have tremendously responded to our calls for blood donation. We shall continue our mobilisation campaigns so as to ensure availability of blood to those who need it.”
The inauguration of the centre, coincided with the celebration of the International Blood Donors’ day which is commemorated on June 14 every year. Celebrations to mark the day in Rwanda were held in Huye district.
At the Huye stadium, the Minister of Health said that 16,500 people needed blood transfusion in 2007. Many of these were accident victims, children and pregnant mothers.
“We require about 30,000 packets of blood every year and the number of people who need it is increasing. This calls for more blood donors,” said Ntawukuriryayo. The Minister called on people to guard against diseases, especially Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
“Guard your selves from HIV by abstaining from pre-marital sex, by being faithful to your partners or by using condoms,” he added.
Minister Ntawukuriryayo repeated the need for proper hygiene saying that 17 per cent of the ministry’s budget goes to the treatment of worms caused by poor feeding. He said that this leads to anaemia and thus the need for blood transfusion.
The Minister rapped religious organisations that stop their followers from receiving blood. Celebrations to mark the International Blood Donors’ day were attended by among others, representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO), officials from the Centre for Disease Control and the Provincial Governor Fidele Ndayisaba.