|Safe Blood in Developing Countries - The Lessons from Uganda (EC, 1995, 151 p.)|
The government of Uganda has fully supported the rehabilitation of the Uganda Blood Transfusion Service since it began in 1987, with help from the European Union and the European Commission. This government support has taken many forms, so that the initial rebuilding of the central blood bank in Nakasero, Kampala, and the later extension of its activities into a full national blood transfusion service serving all our 90 or so hospitals, has been a successful partnership between aid donor and recipient government.
Safe blood is particularly important for Uganda because of the high rate of HIV infection that has unfortunately afflicted our people. Safe blood that has been properly screened and tested has prevented many HIV infections and AIDS deaths, and has formed a major element of our national AIDS campaign. Many individual Ugandans have contributed to the success of the Uganda Blood Transfusion service, most notably its skilled director and staff. But I am sure they would agree with me in saying that the real heroes are the thousands of men and women who have over the last decade donated their blood, voluntarily and without fee, so that others may have life.
The Uganda Blood Transfusion Service is notable both as a contribution to AIDS prevention, and as a major component of health reform, and as a foreign aid project that took local roots and flourished.
So I am pleased that this book records how and why it was done, and what benefits we have achieved, so that others can learn from our experience.
Dr J.G.S. Makumbi
Minister of Health, Uganda