|Safe Blood in Developing Countries - The Lessons from Uganda (EC, 1995, 151 p.)|
|Section One - Introduction and summary|
|Chapter One - Safe blood and HIV/AIDS: The Uganda achievement|
But the simple statistic of the number of blood units hides the real dimensions of the contribution that the UBTS has made to helping the people of Uganda to control and live with the epidemic that has brought tragedy to so many of them. It has contributed in three substantial ways:
1. by preventing the many thousands of HIV infections that might have been caused by use of HIV-contaminated blood in hospitals, both immediate infections and (at least as important) subsequent infections by the infected.
2. by enabling many thousands of Ugandans, not in hospital but coming to the AIDS Information Centres in Kampala and elsewhere, to know their HIV status accurately, and so make informed decisions about their lives, partners, habits and responsibilities.
3. by educating many thousands of people, particularly among the young in schools, colleges and churches, about the HIV epidemic and its patterns of spread, during the UBTS's campaigns to recruit reliable blood donors.
For these reasons, the Uganda Blood Transfusion service has been one of the major instruments of AIDS control in the country, rivalling if not exceeding in influence other, more publicised AIDS prevention strategies. If the evidence that the HIV epidemic is peaking is confirmed, the UBTS must take a due share of the credit.