Blood Bank runs out of life saving blood as South Sudanese shun donation

Several critically ailing patients are increasing at risk of dying now than before because of the insufficient blood in the South Sudan national blood bank in Juba.
A man donates blood on Tuesday inside the national blood transfusion center in Juba

By Benjamin Takpiny

Several critically ailing patients are increasing at risk of dying now than before because of the insufficient blood in the South Sudan national blood bank in Juba.

Dr. Lul Lojok Deng, the director general of the Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC)/ National Blood Transfusion Service in the Ministry of Health, said that there is no enough blood to deal with the high number of emergency cases in Juba. 

“My Message to our community, to our eligible donors, the youth is that you come and donate blood because we need blood to save the lives of our people,” said Deng during the tour of the blood bank by journalists organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and South Sudan Red Cross  in Juba on Tuesday.

Deng said that the majority of blood donors are foreign nationals, adding that South Sudanese have become disinterested of late in saving lives of other people in the country.

“I am appealing to our people that blood transfusion services are collapsing. We need people to support us in terms of blood and resources; we don’t have people who are working there. All the human resources have gone because of the economic crisis that we are in,” he disclosed.

He said that in case of any major crisis the population would be in serious trouble because of blood shortage.

Deng called on the South Sudan Red Cross to recruit laboratory technicians, nurses and other professionals to volunteer within the organization in order to help save lives at zero cost.

He said that this move of recruiting such professionals will help in terms of major challenges that would require experienced people to handle.

Deng also appealed to donors to provided funds to help expand the blood transfusion service center.

 “If you go to the lab, we are not doing blood suppression because of space. We need also to build a national center. It’s not very expensive because one businessman can do it,” he said.

Deng said that South Sudanese could easily be exposed to the worst crisis if the blood bank is not quicly replenished.

“The only thing saving the country now is because there is no big disaster in South Sudan,” he revealed.

He called on South Sudanese youth, business people to come and support the national blood transfusion service center with blood and resources such that the center keeps running.

Joseph Lukak, the Red Cross branch director in Central Equatoria State said that they are supporting training, capacity building at the blood transfusion center to improve the standards of the center to other regional blood transfusion centers.

 He said they offer refreshments to those who turn to donate blood for free at the center.

Majak Majok, a South Sudanese who donated blood on Tuesday, said that he decided to do so after getting concerned over the low state of blood in the blood bank.

 “I am encouraging everybody to come and donate blood, there is nothing wrong with it so longer as you are free from any disease,” said Majok.

Another blood donor, Charles Santo said that donating blood is about saving the unknown person one may not know.

“I am donated my blood to help my mother, she is sick and admitted in the hospital, I want to tell other people  don’t fear to donate blood this can help the whole nation not one person,” said Santo.

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