Cover Image
close this bookSafe Blood in Developing Countries - The Lessons from Uganda (EC, 1995, 151 p.)
close this folderSection One - Introduction and summary
close this folderChapter One - Safe blood and HIV/AIDS: The Uganda achievement
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe tragedy of the haemophiliacs
View the documentInfections carried by blood
View the documentThe unique features of Africa
View the documentThe global blood safety initiative
View the documentThe Uganda blood transfusion service: A portrait
View the documentThe wider contribution of the UBTS
View the documentThe view from an up-country hospital
View the documentThe matter of costs
View the documentThe dynamics of the project
View the documentA complex organisation
View the documentA view from Mulago hospital, Kampala
View the documentFour questions about AID
View the documentThe first visit for the EC
View the documentDr John Watson-Williams enters the scene

The matter of costs

Measurement of the cost is a part of the project. Previously, near to nothing was known or published, in Uganda as elsewhere, about costs. Now the UBTS managers and funders know how much it costs them to supply a unit of blood, and how that cost has been reduced over the years, from over ECU 50 per unit of blood to about ECU 26. They know how much blood they supply, and to whom: and how much blood they test. They know the 'yield' - that is, the ratio of blood collected to blood used, the rate of wastage. They know the ins and outs of bulk purchasing, the price of testing equipment and its minimum technical specifications, the cost of salaries, and the running costs of vehicles. All this is due to the design and monitoring of the project.

Equally, the management knows that more needs to be done. For example, blood donors need to be even better looked after and appreciated, partly through blood donor clubs; salaries need to be higher to retain trained staff; job security needs to be improved; not all hospitals are up to standard in storage and use of blood. The status of the UBTS needs to be regularised, perhaps by making it into an autonomous public entity with its own board of governors and own management. Greater collaboration is needed between the blood transfusion personnel and the medical profession to improve the use of blood and lessen the need for blood products. There is still much to do.