KENYA – Kenya hosted the inaugural Damu – Ke Conference in Nairobi bringing together delegates across Eastern and Southern Africa as well as global representatives to explore blood, cells, tissues and organs in an integrated manner in line with World Health Organization guidance.
Health Principal Secretary Susan said that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT developed a Blood Banking Information System known as Damu-KE noting the system will be used to track blood from the donor to the recipient thus ensuring accountability for donated blood.
Damu Sasa System Limited, through its flagship platform Damu-Sasa, facilitates prompt donation appeals during emergencies, ensures real-time observation of blood level fluctuations, improves real-time monitoring and evaluation of the blood situation for proper decision-making.
Damu Sasa System Limited, a Kenyan-based technology firm with focus on the healthcare sector, has recently partnered with the University of Nairobi on a Research and Development (R&D) Impact Project to improve management of blood services in Kenya.
The technology developed by Damu-Sasa seeks to disrupt the blood services in the blood value chain to meet the blood reserves target set by World Health Organization
The Damu-Sasa blood services management system is a cloud-based system that supports blood sourcing, inventory management, transfusion management, hemovigilance, referrals and deferrals in efforts towards reducing the recurrent shortfall in donated blood.
Damu-Sasa platform was developed to modernize the blood service chain via a series of advanced technological features that are currently incorporated in more than 135 healthcare facilities in Kenya for their blood services management.
Health Principal Secretary Susan has announced a KES886 Million (US$7.52M) allocation to the National Blood Transfusion Service Unit in the Financial Year 2021/22 improved healthcare service delivery, observing that the Damu-KE system provides blood used in all major surgeries including.
The Government of Kenya increased financing allocated to the National Blood Transfusion Service Unit by 738% from KES120 Million (US$1.02M) in the Financial Year 2017/18 to 886 Million (US$7.52M) in the Financial Year 2021/22.
Susan Mochache said that the Ministry of Health leveraged Universal Health Coverage funds with an additional KES 700M (US$5.94M) for blood services, noting increased budgetary allocation to the unit together with structural reforms have yielded remarkable improvement in blood transfusion services.
She said increased resources have expanded blood banking capacity by 100% from 24,000 units to current 53,000 units through procurement of blood fridges, freezers and cold rooms and the secured commodity supply chain will ensure that there are enough blood bags, testing and screening reagents in pipeline until 2023.
The Ministry has invested in automated machines for blood products preparation hence 25 counties have capabilities to prepare packed red cells, cryoprecipitate, plasma and platelets for treatment of cancer, kidney disease, burn patients and blood disorders such as sickle cell, anemia and hemophilia.
In addition, the Government of Kenya has placed four Apheresis in Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu to provide the public sector with access to fresh platelets at no cost while the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT have developed a Blood Banking Information System – Damu-KE.
“Patients receiving cancer and kidney treatment, an area we have made significant investments require blood transfusions and therefore blood must be available where it is needed for Kenyans to benefit from these investments,” Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache noted.
Moreover, the National Blood Transfusion Service Unit provides blood used in all major surgeries, road traffic accidents and its un-availability results in avoidable deaths thus undoing the gains made in the health sector.
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