ADDIS ABEBA – A new blood bank has been inaugurated on a day Ethiopia’s ministry of health launched a National Blood donation campaign launched under the theme, “Life for Life! Give Blood, Save Life!” on Saturday.
The mission director of US aid agency, USAID, in Ethiopia Sean Jones and State Minister of Health Saharla Abdulahi officially inaugurated the five million USD Blood Bank Services headquarters building.
The facility will provide the services with the capacity to receive a much-increased volume of blood donations, screen and process blood products more efficiently, said the aid agency.
It is also tasked to distribute life-saving blood to health centers and patients throughout the country.
The agency has invested 65 million USD towards building and improving health facilities in Ethiopia over the past five years.
In addition to the new blood bank, the project has built a total of 22 new health centers and 10 pharmaceutical warehouses, and renovated another 10 existing health centers.
“These infrastructure projects complement the broader investments and long-standing partnership between the United States and Ethiopia to strengthen the national health system and improve the quality of care,” said the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa.
Washington is the largest bilateral provider of support to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately $150 million per year.
Saturday’s inauguration of the facility coincided with the start of the Ministry of Health’s national blood donation campaign.
Ethiopian National Blood Bank Service (ENBBS) says it aims to register 100,000 new blood donors and 300,000 donors in a thirthy-day.
For Saturday, the initiative had a target to collect 10,000 units of blood in a day and started on a high note.
On the first day of the campaign, “a total of 14,077 people have donated blood”, said Amir Aman, minister of health.
Ethiopia collected 223,000 units of blood in 2012 EC, meeting only 22% of its need as per the standard of the World Health Organization (WHO).