Kenya Seeks Support From PEPFAR To Expand Blood Transfusion Centers

Kenya’s Medical Services Permanent Secretary James Ole Kiyiapi announced Thursday that the government is in negotiations with PEPFAR for support in building additional blood transfusion centers in the country, Capital News reports. In an opening address at the 5th International Africa Society for Blood Transfusion, Ole Kiyiapi said the government estimates it will cost about Sh230 million ($2.99 million) to build the new centers and train appropriate staff.

The demand for blood transfusions in the country outweighs the supply, Ole Kiyiapi said, pointing to the fact that the country on average collects “120,000 units of blood annually” compared to “the required 200,000 units,” Capital News writes, adding, “Out of the 120,000 units of blood collected, 9,600 units are discarded because of contamination with infections like HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis B, as well as poor storage.”

“[T]his deficit can be bridged if we first of all have systems of storage and screening and if we do campaigns,” Ole Kiyiapi said, adding, “(PEPFAR) [has] agreed to support us to develop proper international standards facilities for pilot areas then we will scale it up with time” (Karong’o, Capital News, 6/25).