Second Satellite Transfusion Site To Be Set Up In Kakuma

The county government and the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service plan for establishment of second satellite blood transfusion site in Turkana, within Kakuma region.

Currently, Turkana is served by a single blood transfusion satellite centre at the Lodwar County Referral Hospital.

Medical Services Chief Officer Dr. Gilchrist Lokel on Wednesday hosted officials from the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) on their visit to Turkana for talks on establishment of a second blood transfusion site at Kakuma.

The KNBTS team was led by Alice Mbui, the coordinator for the ‘Availability of Safe Blood’ project.

This visit is a follow-up to earlier negotiations with the World Bank under the Building Resilient and Responsive Health Project, aimed at improving the capacity of Turkana to offer blood transfusion services for its residents and the populations along Kenya-Uganda, Kenya-South Sudan and Kenya-Ethiopia borders.

Dr. Lokel highlighted the critical nature of the initiative, stating, ‘Setting u
p this satellite facility will greatly improve our capability to test the safety of blood right here in Kakuma. Previously, the turnaround time for blood tests was long because samples had to be sent to the regional office in Eldoret for feedback, which delayed critical treatments, especially among maternity cases.’

KNBTS’s support includes the provision of medical equipment and consumables, training for local healthcare staff, and two Land Cruiser vehicles, ensuring comprehensive assistance for the project.

Advocacy, communication, and social mobilisation (ACSM) efforts are also integral parts of this initiative.

During the meeting, Alice Mbui elaborated on KNBTS’s role, detailing how their support is structured and the expected impacts.

Mbui added that procurement of supplies for the establishment of the site was already underway to speed up the process.

Dr. Lokel added, ‘This satellite blood transfusion centre is vital for both the growing refugee community and the host community, providing essential
support where it’s most needed.’

Expressing his gratitude for the collaboration, Lokel remarked, ‘The county government is fully committed to this project, overseeing necessary renovations and providing human resources to ensure its success.’

Also present were Thomas Ngetich, Head of Blood Transfusion for the North Rift Region, and Samuel Kapengi, County Blood Transfusion Coordinator.

Source: Kenya News Agency