Borama general hospital opened its first blood bank on 29 June following the donation of a refrigerator with a capacity of 500 bags of blood by the Somaliland Ministry of Health.
Dr Abdiqani Mohamed Adan, hospital manager, told Radio Ergo he is confident that the blood bank will enable them to cope more efficently with most emergencies.
The lack of blood has caused grave problems for patients in the past. Relatives had to rally round to donate blood, which may be rejected if it failed the screening standards or did not match the patient’s blood type. Blood donors need to be at least 50 kg, and their blood must be free from pathogens.
Samsam Dahir Nur’s 64-year-old father recently had an appendix operation, during which he received blood from the hospital’s blood bank. He had an unsuccessful operation in May, when he lost a lot blood and the family had to search for a donor as Samsam and her three sisters do not share their father’s O+ blood type. At that time, some people were reluctant to give blood and others arrived too late at the hospital.
“The difference between that situation and now, when we have the blood bank, is huge,” she said.
The medical faculty of Amud University has donated 40 bags of blood to the hospital. Congregations in mosques are also being asked to volunteer as blood donors.
Dr Abdiqani said blood is mostly being used during childbirth and for emergencies. Patients receive the blood free of charge, but relatives of patients from towns are asked to donate some blood to the bank afterwards as compensation.