• E4A-MamaYe launches blood donation campaign to save mothers' lives

E4A-MamaYe launches blood donation campaign to save mothers' lives

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2019
In 2016, one of every two maternal deaths that occurred in Bungoma County, Kenya, were caused by blood loss. E4A-MamaYe has launched a campaign, #DamuniUhai, calling for funding for blood services in the county.

Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) is a global best practice, where lessons are learned and actions taken following the death of any mother or baby. In Kenya, E4A-MamaYe supports MPDSR committees to review deaths, upload these reviews on to DHIS2 (the health management information system), and take actions to reduce preventable deaths in the future. ‘Response’ is critical if we are to see a reduction in preventable maternal and perinatal deaths.

Responding to the need for blood

At the beginning of 2017, E4A-Mama Ye, together with the County Health Management Team and the MANI project, launched a campaign to increase blood donations and call for funding for blood services. The campaign resulted in an increase in blood donations across the county and an improved awareness of the importance of giving blood.

One of the biggest challenges now facing Bungoma county is the lack of funding from the county government to support the work of the Blood Satellite Bank in Bungoma. This directly impacts the quality and efficiency of blood services in the county. In 2017, blood loss continued to be an issue: causing the deaths of 19 women in Bungoma.

A new campaign to drive changes for mothers in Bungoma

Blood services continue to rely heavily on school children, and blood donations remain consistently below what Bungoma requires. Together with Bungoma County, E4A-MamaYe is responding to the evidence and wants to secure a financial allocation for blood services to save the lives of mothers.

The County has developed a costed plan for blood services, and called for the upgrade of the satellite blood centre into a regional blood centre. This centre would allow blood to be tested within the county, reducing the money and time spent transporting blood to the regional blood bank at Eldoret, a two-hour drive from Bungoma, for testing. The establishment of a Bungoma based regional blood centre would be accompanied by increased blood drives amongst the adult population of Bungoma, seeking to reach the 2019 target of 1000 units of blood collected each month.

The campaign, #DamuniUhai - Blood is life, calls for Bungoma County to fund blood services, and sensitizes citizens of Bungoma to donate blood regularly. The campaign focuses on the number of blood champions needed in each ward - the lowest administrative unit, to demonstrate how achievable an adequate safe blood supply is for Bungoma. What is needed? 118 million KES to create a regional blood centre, and 22 adult blood donors per month, per ward.

Bungoma has come a long way since the blood campaign of 2017, but there is still a long way to go. If the county wants to continue to save the lives of Bungoma’s mothers and babies, allocating funding for blood services, and spending it, will be crucial.

We do not want to see any mother dying from preventable causes in Bungoma County. In 2019 and 2020, we want to see a decline in the maternal deaths caused by haemorrhage, and more safe, accessible, and available blood available for all.

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