Absa Bank Uganda staff have donated 245 units of blood to the Nakasero Blood Bank as part of the celebrations marking two years since the brand was unveiled in Uganda, also coinciding with the Banking and Financial Services awareness month activities.
The blood drive, which was conducted in partnership with the Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services (UIBFS) and the Uganda Bankers Association (UBA), involved banking staff from branches all around the country.
Commenting on the Blood Donation Drive, the Institute’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Goretti Masadde stated, “We are extremely delighted to have incorporated blood donation as part of the Banking and Financial Services awareness Month activities. The Awareness Month campaign theme “My Steps My Wealth” speaks to many aspects of wealth including health, for which we need to take deliberate steps.”
Speaking at the culmination of the drive, Mumba Kalifungwa, Absa Bank Uganda’s Managing Director, said, “The shortage of blood in Uganda is no secret, and yet requires a concerted effort from the public and private sectors as well as ordinary citizens to address this. As the staff of Absa Bank Uganda, we opted to come together to contribute to this meaningful cause, which works to better the communities within which we serve.”
According to the Head of Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, Dr Dorothy Byabazaire, the agency only managed to collect 56,850 units of blood between April and July 2020, out of a targeted 75,000 units.
A majority of the blood donated in Uganda has previously been conducted through educational institutions like secondary schools and universities, with 55% of blood donors being aged between 17 and 27 years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions have been closed since March 2020.
Accident victims, children under 5 and patients undergoing surgery are among the priority groups of patients that are frequently in need of blood transfusion.
Mr Kalifungwa added, “This drive was a testament to our working to create shared value and play a shaping role in the communities within which we operate. For the nation’s economy to thrive, people must be prioritized and needs addressed. As such, ensuring that Uganda’s blood banks are sufficiently stocked is one of the many ways that we can contribute to this goal.”
“…we thank and congratulate Absa bank for taking up the initiative and taking steps towards donating blood for the good of the public who are key stakeholders of the banking and financial services industry. We are proud to have jointly worked together to invest in the health of the public through this initiative”, said Ms. Masadde.