Simiyu Region faces acute shortage of blood

03Dec 2019
The Guardian
Simiyu Region faces acute shortage of blood

SIMIYU region is facing acute shortage of blood for transfusion requiring some 10,000 units in its hospitals and health facilities.

The situation has compelled them to solicit blood from neighbouring Mwanza region to save lives of those in need, particularly women and children.

This was said yesterday by Simiyu Region Coordinator of Blood transfusion, Shem Aron Nyambaro during celebration to mark the World AIDS Day held in the region’s Itilima district.

Nyambaro said the region’s blood need is 18,000 units but up to now they have collected 6,000 units only, hardly sufficient to cover actual need at its hospitals.

He said the challenges they face in realising their blood collection target is low response from wananchi to donare blood.

Meanwhile, the region’s Maswa district has been cited as the leader in HIV infections in 2019, overtaking Busega district that was leading for new HIV infection for two consecutive years, 2017 and 2018.

Simiyu Region has five districts – Maswa, Itilima, Busega, Bariadi and Meatu, the region has seen the increase in HIV infections from 3.6 percent in 2012 to 3.9 percent in 2019, though less than the national average of 4.7 percent.

Elaborating on the HIV infections situation, Simiyu Region HIV/AIDS Coordinator, Dr kulemba said Busega district holds number 2 spot at 2.8 percent followed by Bariadi Municipality (2.1 percent), while Itilima and Meatu districts are both at 1.8 percent and Bariadi Rural 1.7 percent.

He said: “There are many reasons for the increase of HIV infections including unsafe sex as research has shown that this, including sex with more than one partner contribute to 80 percent of all new infections.”

He said the region has embarked on improving service to people living with HIV and centers for counseling have been increased from 124 in 2015 to 194 by November 2019.

He said the region has also increased treatment centers (CTC) from 53 in 2017 to 103 in 2019, an increase of 47 percent.

Simiyu Regional Medical Officer, Dr Festo Dugange said the wananchi need more education to make them aware on the hazards of casual sex, including excessive drinking and use of illicit drugs.

The Itilima District Commissioner Benson Kilangi called on men to go for HIV testing and directed district councils to put emphasis on HIV/AIDS education.