28 C
Monday, February 17, 2020

Kenya: Tracing Genesis of Crisis At Kenya’s Blood Agency


Top Kitchen Appliances Available on Amazon

Attention shoppers, if you are looking for the best kitchen appliances and for the best deals check out this list before any purchase. You know...

Health experts: Human-to-human spread of new virus worrying

Passengers board buses after arriving on an airplane carrying U.S. citizens being evacuated from Wuhan, China, at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif....

NYSC Camping Guide: Possible Health Challenges, Preventive Measures, and Basic Necessities

Should you be concerned about your health when going for service? Let's find out. When it's time for you to obey the clarion call,...

Have Humans Evolved Beyond Nature – and Do We Even Need It?

Our society has evolved so much, can we still say that we are part of Nature? If not, should we worry – and what...

Somalia: Students in Wuhan Speak of Fear, Loneliness, Hunger

Somali students in coronavirus-stricken Wuhan say they are trapped in their university rooms feeling frightened and lonely, and are appealing for the Somali government...

Science Supports the Idea that Beauty is More Than Skin Deep

Skin is the body’s largest organ and the only one that’s visible to the naked eye. Most people may not consciously notice it unless...

Chemical Poisoning – Symptoms and Treatment

Someone felt frustrated because nothing seemed to be working in her favour. Her marriage had just ended in a messy way; her job was...

12 Natural Ways to Get Fuller and Thicker Eyebrows

You may be one of several people suffering from thin eyebrows or gaps in eyebrows due to over plucking or incorrect threading. Here are...

Inspiring Health With Pilates

In our tech-savvy and highly advanced world, where we have everything accessible at our fingertips, few things are left behind. For instance, health consciousness...

South Africa: The Story of the Pharma Giant and the African Yam

It was a drug produced in Nottingham in the United Kingdom that led us on a journey to South Africa to visit muthi markets,...
Reporting news worthy and other types content from media outlets from across the web. all rights belong to their respective owners. If you want your content removed email us at legal@kraftysprouts.com with the URL.

Dr Fridah Govedi walked into the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Services (KNBTS) in early August last year, just a few days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Kenya stopped funding the department, and after the former director, Dr Josephine Githaiga, left in July.


A paediatrician by training, Dr Govedi had earlier worked as the medical superintendent of Kajiado County for five years.

Before that, she had served as the HIV/Aids and STI coordinator for Nairobi Province for two years, and as the CEO of Pumwani Hospital for six years.

The financial distress the department faces is not her fault, as the funding came to an end outside her tenure.

Also, the KNBTS is a department of the ministry and therefore cannot source its own funds.


In 2013, the KNBTS, under the director at the time, Dr Margaret Oduor, got together with a few stakeholders and interested parties to draft a bill that would turn the department into a parastatal.

“I participated in the drafting of that bill,” says Justice (Rtd) Violet Mavisi. “The bill would turn the KNBTS into a professional institution that can be held accountable for the equitable distribution of blood across the country, and the safety of (donors and patients), and with a competitively appointed CEO.”

However, the new Constitution came into effect, and with it a new Health Act (2017), stalling the bill’s tabling. It is currently in Parliament as a private member’s bill sponsored by Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege.

Dr Govedi agrees with the spirit of the bill, but says it is deficient. “It still has gaps,” she says.


She also takes fault with the leadership of the stakeholders’ committee, saying that as laypeople, they have no mandate to craft a technical bill.


This is despite the fact that it was the KNBTS, through its first director Dr Oduor, that approached the stakeholders to form the committee in 2013.

Justice Mavisi says the bill is the solution. “Had this bill been passed when it was first tabled, the department would have found a way out of this crisis, even if it means engaging hospitals to cater for blood transfusions through NHIF.”

KNBTS staff say that while the legal issues are being hashed out, there is still enough goodwill from corporates, individuals and others to ensure that blood keeps being collected, screened and distributed.

On December 18 last year, the then acting director-general for health, Dr Wekesa Masasabi, issued a circular instructing all five regional BTS managers to use partner support to ensure there would be sufficient blood stocks over the Christmas period.

“Things went well and the blood situation stabilised,” offers a staff member.


On January 10, Dr Govedi called her first staff meeting since her installation and told them that no partners should be engaged until they had been referred to her for vetting and formalisation of their relationship with KNBTS.

“The system has been working for years before she came,” says a staff member. “Our activities are purely by outreach, and we use partners to mobilise the public to donate blood, to train staff, to make sure we were up to date with best practice. Why change now?”


The Saturday Nation asked Dr Govedi this question: “KNBTS didn’t know about these arrangements with partners.”

“We had no clear engagement with them. This is because the CDC was controlling those partnerships. And you cannot say the system was working before – the KNBTS was only collecting 164,000 units a year, when the target was half a million.”

As far as she is concerned, partners have no mandate unless they have been cleared by her. \”If you want to solve a government problem, you have to engage the government. Let them come to me directly. My door is always open.”


However, per the agreement the KNBTS had with the CDC, the Service would identify partners to work with, chosen through a public tender system and vetted for capacity, and the CDC would fund the partners’ activities on the strength of KNBTS’ recommendation.

This system has worked since 2004 when it was set up. “All the records she needs on prior engagement with partners are in her office,” says the staff member.

“What happened to institutional memory?” asks a former partner. Part of the problem, says the staff member, is that Dr Govedi has not gone through the requisite training to understand how the system works.

“All staff get to travel to other countries such as Rwanda and South Africa to observe successful blood bank operations,” they say.

Without this specialised training, it is almost impossible to understand professional blood management.

We ask Dr Govedi about this. “Blood is a health subject and as a paediatrician, I am a user of blood. Blood is a part of basic training. I learned how to read blood slides for my master’s, also. Why would you want that training when you are seasoned in the field?”


Meanwhile, Rwanda’s blood bank has survived and thrived since the US ceased funding it, and is now successfully delivering blood to recipients in remote areas via drones.


Might it not be useful to use that example to assist Kenya’s blood bank to get back on its feet?

“I don’t want to benchmark against Rwanda,” says Dr Govedi. “Their terrain and circumstances are different.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health does not seem to have made any efforts to address the urgent situation, which is this: at this very moment, the entire country only has 7,500 units of blood for use.

It is many stakeholders’ hope that the incoming Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe will work urgently to change things while policies are put in place to streamline operations at the Service.

— Additional reporting by Nasibo Kabale

Source: AllAfrica.com

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending now

Eating Vaginal Discharge and It’s Health Benefits

For many people, vaginal discharge is a sign that a woman is ready and willing to have sex. Vaginal fluid is a whitish fluid...

Genital Warts: Do They Go Away Naturally? What to Expect?

Human Papilloma Virus is the causative organism for genital warts. The virus is available in various strains, and it can be contacted by many...

Anklet Charms and Hot Wives What Do They Mean?

Women all over the world love to accessorise. From putting on necklaces to wearing makeup and buying the latest trending clothes, women are ready...

Kinky Sex Punishment Ideas You Should Try

Is your submissive being a spoilt little brat? Are you noticing some unwanted behaviour? Do not be dismayed. Sometimes subs can be naughty, and...

Is Zobo Drink Healthy for Pregnant Women?

Zobo drink is a popular drink in Nigeria and it is loved by many; this common drink is made with hibiscus flower and it...

Skin Rashes: Causes, Symptoms and Effective Home Remedies

Skin rashes are common skin problems experienced by millions of people worldwide; it is characterized by a visible change in the color and texture...

Photos of Women’s Orgasm Faces Show True Female Desire Is Nothing Like Porn

A photographer has captured women’s faces before, during and after they orgasm to lift the lid on real female sexuality. Brazilian photographer Marcos Alberti said...

Coronavirus – Facts, Types and Symptoms

Coronaviruses are a type of virus that mainly affects the respiratory tract of humans and other mammals. These viruses are associated with pneumonia, common...

Surprising Health Benefits Of Mango Leaves

Mangoes known as the king of fruits are common and popular fruits in Nigeria, there are very common from February/march till the middle of...