Uganda has only one blood bank- the National Blood Bank at Nakasero. Statistics from Uganda Red Cross Society indicate that 250,000 units of blood are distributed to all hospitals in Uganda annually, compared to the recommended 350,000 units by World Health Organization (WHO). This leaves a deficit of 100,000 units of blood.
In 2014, a Rotarian- Past District Governor (PDG) Emmanuel Katongole, conceived the idea of constructing another blood bank at Mengo hospital. He was inspired by a painful experience of losing a sister who bled to death after giving birth, and also in response to the inadequate blood transfusion services. His vision has since seen the construction of an 800 sq. meter blood bank facility worth US $ 1,305,219. This covers construction of the blood bank building, procurement of equipment and training of staff. The Rotary blood bank received a Rotary Foundation Global grant worth USD 250,000 to procure an assortment of blood transfusion equipment from Germany. Additional funds have been raised from Rotarians, Corporate companies and well-wishers. The Rotary blood bank project has a shortfall of USD $560,000, part of which will be fundraised from the jazz concert.
“All equipment for the blood bank is already in the country and will be installed by 25th Feb 2017. We are hopeful that all internal and external construction works will be completed within the month of February 2017. We shall then hand over the blood bank to Mengo hospital and Uganda blood transfusion services,” emphasizes PDG Katongole.