Health Cabinet Secretary Launches Mandera Blood Satellite And Task Force Report.
Mandera (Kenya), March 20, 2023
Kenya's Ministry of Health has launched a satellite blood bank center in Mandera County. The launch event was attended by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Nakhumicha S. Wafula, the Governor of Mandera County, H.E. Mohamed Adan Khalif, and other officials from the County Government of Mandera and the Ministry of Health.
The opening of the Mandera Referral Hospital Blood Satellite marks a significant milestone in improving access to safe and quality blood transfusion services in the region.
The satellite blood bank is expected to process 8,700 units of blood annually, serving the population of 867,457 in the region. Dr. Nakhumicha highlighted that blood transfusion is a critical health service that forms the basis for quality health, and this initiative will help to ensure that all individuals and communities in the region have access to safe, effective, and quality essential health services without catastrophic expenditure.
The Cabinet Secretary also noted that the Ministry of Health is committed to supporting county governments in strengthening primary healthcare services while building capacity for specialized care, including critical care, renal, and cancer services.
The satellite blood bank is one of 12 such facilities set up with support from development partners, including the World Bank, and appropriately staffed. Procurement of Transfusion Transmissible Infectious testing and blood product preparation equipment has ensured safe, adequate, and appropriate blood products are accessible for use by patients.
Dr. Wafula urged the residents of Mandera to develop a culture of blood donation, stating that blood, unlike other medical consumables and needs, cannot be procured or purchased. “Blood donation is a noble act that can save lives, and this culture will ensure that there are adequate stock levels at the blood bank in this new center,” she noted.
Finally, Dr. Nakhumicha acknowledged the level of investment at the County Referral Hospital and the collaboration between the two levels of government to strengthen service delivery in Mandera.
The KEMRI Lab in Mandera has also made significant contributions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing research on MERS-COV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus).
The launch of the satellite blood bank and other health services in the region will go a long way towards achieving universal health coverage, a key pillar in the Kenya Kwanza Health manifesto.