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Somalia launches first blood bank in 30 years

Somalia launches first blood bank in 30 years
Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre (far right) and other officials opening the new blood bank in Mogadishu on 5 August 2023 | Credit | Courtesy | Somalia Ministry of Health

The Somali government, in collaboration with UN agencies, on Saturday inaugurated the national blood bank for the first time in three decades to help improve medical services for the people.

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said the Somali National Blood Bank, which was inaugurated in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, will help maintain a safe and adequate blood supply for national use.

Abdi said the government is committed to improving the health and well-being of all Somalis, and the blood bank is a major milestone in their efforts to provide safe and reliable blood products to those in need.

The blood bank, which is located at Banadir Hospital, has the capacity to store 10,000 units of donated blood at any given time. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for screening, preparation, and secure storage of blood and blood products to ensure safety and quality.

Minister of Health and Human Services Ali Haji Aden expressed gratitude to the United Nations and donors for their support in making the blood bank a reality.

“After 30 years, we finally have a national blood bank that can address the blood needs of anemic women, women with postpartum hemorrhage, anemic children, and trauma patients. We will do our best to ensure that safe blood is available to the Somali people,” he said.

Niyi Ojuolape, United Nations Population Fund representative for Somalia, said the construction of the Somali National Blood Bank is a sign of the shared commitment to improving the health of the Somali people.

“We are confident that this blood bank will save lives and improve the health of many people in Somalia,” Ojuolape said.

Ala’a Nemer, country director of the United Nations Office for Project Services in Somalia, said the blood bank project is a testament to their commitment to strengthening healthcare infrastructure in Somalia, ensuring timely and safe blood transfusions to those that need it, thus improving medical services for the people of Somalia.