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The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in partnership with Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS) kicked off the six-day Annual NSSF Blood Donation Drive aimed at collecting 4,500 units of blood in response to a nationwide appeal for safe blood.

The drive will take place at Workers House, Constitutional Square and other areas around the city as well NSSF Kampala branches in Kireka, Mukono, Kawempe, Bakuli, Bugolobi and Entebbe. Outside Kampala, the drive will take place in major regional towns of Mbale, Mbarara, Gulu, Arua, Fort Portal, Jinja, Mukono, Kabale, Masaka as well as NSSF branches in the respective towns.

According to World Health Organization, (WHO), Uganda needs about 340,000 units of blood annually although less than 200,000 units are collected annually. It should be noted that only 1% of Uganda’s population that is eligible to donate blood regularly do so, causing blood shortages.

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Through NSSF’s partnership with UBTS in the last six years, over 10,000 units of blood have been collected to-date.

To donate blood, a donor needs to be between the ages of 17 and 65 years, weigh above 45 kgs and must not be on medication. The donor must of infectious diseases like Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS and other diseases like cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.