Special Reports

EXCLUSIVE: Rot At Uganda Blood Bank

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cheap http://ceris.ca/wp-admin/includes/admin.php sans-serif;”>John Muwanga, ailment http://cdkstone.com.au/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/includes/cli/class-wc-cli-tool.php in his report for the month of June 2013, http://creativecommons.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/publicize/publicize-jetpack.php claims the organization has a poor organization structure and cannot handle its administrative challenges.

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He further notes there is no legislation and regulatory framework for blood transfusion at UBTS.

“There is no law establishing UBTS as an autonomous, self-accounting organization with a clear organization structure, and job descriptions. As a result, it cannot effectively handle its administrative challenges, such as, solicitation for better funding and recruitment of its own staff,” states the report.

The Auditor condemns the poor management of the organization claiming that UBTS was not accredited and there was no evidence that the transfusion service had sought accreditation over the period it has been in existence (2003).

“UBTS does not know the overall actual blood requirement for the country. For the period under review, Uganda’s annual average blood collection was short by 72.1 percent,” states.

UBTS is a Ministry of Health semi-autonomous organization that is mandated to make available safe and adequate quantities of blood and blood products to all hospitals for the management of patients throughout the country.

UBTS works closely with Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in the area of voluntary blood donor recruitment through a formalized Memorandum of Understanding.

It is mandated to expand Blood collection to operate adequately within a decentralized health care delivery system; increase annual blood collection necessary to meet all the blood requirements of all patients in hospitals; test all blood for transfusion transmissible infections and operate an effective quality assurance programme and ensure continuous education and training.

UBTS operates through a network of seven Regional Blood banks in Arua, Fort-Portal, Gulu, Kitovu, Mbale, Mbarara and Nakasero supported by six collection centers in Hoima, Masaka, Kabale, Rukungiri, Jinja and Soroti districts.

CRISIS

However, it appears UBTS is on a sickbed and reliance on the organization for blood supply could be fatal as it happened in June.

And the revelations will pile pressure on the UBTS executive to resign in the wake of acute blood shortage that recently hit the country, costing scores of lives.

The acute blood shortage that hit Uganda in June sparked off public outcry.

Little was known about the filth at UBTS until Muwanga’s findings which he revealed in a report last Friday.

Muwanga recommends the organization to ensure that the processes that develop blood and its products are well documented, updated and performed in a systematic and quality manner.

The report further reveals that this is because UBTS is setting its blood collection targets according to the number of teams available, instead of the recommended WHO standard of 2 percent of the total population of a given country, especially for developing countries.

Mrs Dorothy Kyeyune, the Director of UBTS, told Chimpreports that the blood being collected matches the existing capacity of the National Blood Transfusion Service.

“The current collections are determined by the actual hospital requirements and not WHO standards. In the past UBTS has been able to meet hospital blood requirements except during the recent episode of unavailability of test kits,” she said.

She further said that according to WHO requirements, a country should achieve a 1 percent (not 2 percent) blood collection of the total population.

“This is for an ideal situation as in developed countries where blood is used in addition to the basic transfusion needs for sophisticated medical and surgical procedures, trauma care and management of blood disorders,” said Mrs Kyeyune.

MANAGEMENT UNIT

In terms of quality management unit and training, the Auditor General claims that UBTS did not have a fully functional Quality Management Unit and quality control systems for handling blood; and, as a result, quality audits were not being conducted.

UBTS blood bank network uses different testing algorithm which may impact on the uniformity and consistency in the quality of blood and blood products produced in its entire regional blood network around the country,” states the report.

The Auditor General also asserts that the Government had planned to construct one Regional Blood Bank (RBB) in each of the existing 13 regional referral hospitals; however, UBTS had only planned to construct 7 RBBs in its five year strategic plan, contrary to government strategy.

“It managed to construct only five by the time of audit (January 2013) in the period under review at Nakasero in Kampala, Mbale, Mbarara, Gulu, and Fort Portal, indicating an underperformance of 62 performance.”

“The Management should therefore harmonize its strategic plan with that of the National Health,” said the Auditor General.

Mrs Kyeyune denies the allegations: “The five regional Blood banks constructed out of the planned 13 is what the available funding could allow.”

TITLE DEEDS

The Auditor General claims that UBTS did not have title deeds for Mbale and Fort Portal regional blood banks nor did it have Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for the use of the land donated to it by hospitals on which the regional blood banks are housed.

The report indicates that UBTS did not provide adequate supplies for blood collection equipment to all its RBBs and Blood Collection Centres (BCCs) for efficient collection of blood from potential blood donors and lacked a replacement policy for the worn out equipment.

It recommends that the organization management establish a quality assurance unit to carry out frequent field visits to emphasize adherence to the SQPs and monitor the conditions under which the collection teams are operating.

The report further reveals that organization provided 47,750 quadruple bags worth Shs.653, 458,750, to transfusing units for whole blood transfusion and not component therapy.

“This is a waste considering that the 3 blood bags attached to these quadruple bags had to go to waste.”

Therefore, the Auditor General recommended that UBTS should set up a quality control unit which will ensure the adherence to all existing SOPs by the rest of UBTS network.

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