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Kenya’s Blood Agency to Manage Blood Banks Electronically

Published 07/31/2014 by Global Communities

Kenya’s Blood Agency to Manage Blood Banks Electronically
This article first appeared in Shanghai Daily and Global Post
NAKURU, Kenya, July 30 (Xinhua) — Kenyans will soon be aware of their blood donation suitability through an electronically generated short message, as a blood agency readies itself for a digital mechanism of monitoring its blood banks.
The Kenya National Blood Transfusion Services (KNBTS) will from November be operating on a digital system run on an eProgesa software which will provide a platform for storing the donors’ details and their blood safety status.
“With the software, we will be able to know donors who can make any further blood donations and if they are unsafe,” KNBTS deputy director Catherine Ngugi said in Nakuru on Wednesday during the closure of a two-week staff training on the use of the software.
“The software will automatically generate an electronic message that will inform the donor on her or his blood donation status and provide further advice for the need to seek medical care,” Ngugi said.
Ngugi said the digital platform will provide them with relevant information necessary for identifying persons with rare blood groups and who can be contacted during the emergency needs for their particular type of blood.
Safe donors will also receive reminders generated by the software to make further blood donations during their due time span.
This, according to Ngugi, will ensure they have a consistent supply of usable blood while they pursue other healthy Kenyans to donate more blood.
“Each year, we need 400,000 units of blood but we have not been able to meet that demand and our plan is to increase the number of donors so that we are able to supply enough blood at all times,” she said.
With the digital system, the agency will be able to monitor and manage the available blood units in all its facilities across the country while ensuring distribution of the required blood types in respective hospitals.
The software, a product of the French-based Mak-System International Group, will be available without the internet connectivity, making it a relevant resource in the remote areas especially during mobile blood donation drives.
“Computers used by the KNBTS agents will be configured in such a way that the agents can access the system offline,” said Serah Alabam, a senior program manager at the Global Communities Kenya, an organization training the KNBTS staff on the utilization of the software.
“Once they are back to the centers connected to the internet network used by KNBTS, the information is automatically synchronized into the system.”
The agency has already trained its staff on high intensive measures of handling blood in preparation for acquisition of global accreditation.