Organizing a blood drive

2 02 2010

Reading the news in Uganda gives new definition to the concept of sensational journalism.  Unfortunately, many of the stories are true and the headlines, shocking as they are, describe actual events.  Struggling with wanting to feel like there was some sort of tangible impact before I go and wanting to inspire civic engagement from Ugandans (it was fascinating that news coverage of events in Haiti received so little coverage here — most Ugandans said it was because they had nothing to give.  I would argue they have compassion to give but the culture here is much more used to being the ones in need, rather the ones in position to give), our organization has decided to put together a volunteer blood drive.  There was a recent front page article in the New Vision newspaper (click here to read) stating that the national blood bank was out of blood.  Patients in hospitals are unable to get blood and are dying.  This is something anyone, regardless of how much money you have, can help with.  I’m really hopeful we are able to get a good crowd and am devoting most of my last week to mobilizing people for the blood drive and a meeting to present the strategic plan.  I hope to post success photos next week!

Information on the blood drive:

Every minute of every day, someone needs blood – anemic children, pregnant mothers, accident victims, surgical patients, etc. That blood can only come from a volunteer donor, a person like you who makes the choice to donate.

Recently, there was a news article stating that Uganda’s national blood bank has run dry, causing severe shortages of blood countrywide. This means people are dying unnecessarily because there is not enough blood available.

We can do something about this!

The Action Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS (AGHA) is a local NGO committed to raising the awareness of all health care providers and the communities they serve about the human rights aspects of health. When we saw the recent news, we decided to mobilize people to take action and help generate the desperately needed blood.

We hope you will join us for the blood drive and help save lives!

What: Volunteer blood drive

Where: Action Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS (AGHA) offices:
Kanjokya Street, Plot 69, Kamwokya (at end of street)

When: Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 9:00am – 4:00pm
(only takes about 15 min. to donate – come anytime during the day!)


• Donating blood literally saves lives – one unit of blood can save four children.

• As the rates of malaria increase, the need for blood also increases as many malaria patients are anemic and require additional blood.

• The Ugandan Blood Transfusion Service estimates the annual need for blood to be approximately 200,000 units. On average, Uganda is unable to meet the demand and is in need of an additional 50,000 units.

• The blood collected will benefit patients throughout Uganda.

• Giving blood is an easy way to make a difference in the lives of your fellow Ugandans – it is the patriotic thing to do.

• By giving blood, you will benefit from knowing your blood type and will receive free HIV/AIDs testing.

Frequently asked questions:

Who is eligible?

Everyone is eligible as long as you meet the following criteria:

• Are between 17 and 60 years of age

• Weight at least 45 kgs

• Are not sick

• Are not on medication

• Have no history of chronic diseases

Will it hurt?

In general, donating blood is not painful and will not cause you any harm. You should feel free to partake in normal activities after the donation.

Is it safe?

Blood donation is safe and will not affect your health. You cannot get an infection by donating blood. The blood drive team is well trained and equipped to ensure your safety during the process. All of the equipment used is sterile and is only used once before being thrown away.

If you have any questions about the blood drive, please feel free to contact Allison at 0718 375 024.




One response

4 02 2010
Ryan Frich

Is it okay to ship blood from New york?

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