Sinai Tragedy Blood Drive: Courtesy of Catastrophe…

As tragedy strikes, the call goes out beckoning well-wishers to help in the hour of need. Such was the case when a Nairobi Pipeline fire broke out in Siani Informal Settlement in Mukuru Slums in Nairobi on 12th September 2011. At least 75 people were killed and hundreds of others badly burned and hurt.

HWWK volunteers mobilizing and informing the public about the exercise

In response hundreds of people thronged the ‘August 7 Memorial Park’ in downtown Nairobi to donate blood in aid of these inferno victims. The inferno that rendered many residents of the infamous Sinai Informal Settlement homeless also left them in dire need of blood according to medical practitioners.  The HOPE worldwide Kenya (HWWK) Blood Safety Team rose to the occasion in assisting to collect blood for the victims.

HWWK volunteers pitch tents ready for blood donation exercise

Partners on the ground included the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Services (KNBTS), HOPE worldwide Kenya, Kenya Red Cross Society, Blood Life Initiative Kenya, and Blood Link Foundation.

According to the HWWK Blood Safety Manager, Fridah Mcharo, over 1,000 units of blood were collected in three days at the Memorial Park. Fridah says this is an unprecedented number and it’s not usual to collect such a number in such few days. Fridah lauded Kenyans for the quick response but was quick to urge the public to donate blood regularly to keep the country equipped for the constant need for blood that keeps arising among the people of Kenya.

Kenyan Administrative Police Officers donates blood during the drive while one of HHWK ushers issues beverage drink to donors

During the blood drives the potential donors were educated by a Kenya National Blood Transfusion Staff to help them understand the criteria for donating blood.

Willing donors continued flowing into the blood donation site through early evening until the site closed down at 8.30 pm. This late hour is very rare in the blood program. The partners gave their all and at the end of the day a tired smile tells the story.

Blood donation at night

“There is need to educate our people on the importance of donating blood regularly and not only when there is a crisis,” said Fridah Mcharo (Blood Program Manager, HWWK)

For many people this was their first time to donate blood. They braved their fears and rolled up their sleeves. The uniformed forces were not left behind, nor were cooperates like Cooperative Bank, Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation, among others. Techno Brand donated tents which helped ease the traffic of donors in the refreshment area.

Hundreds of donors also made their way to Kenyatta National Hospital to make their donations.

The blood donation drives ended on Friday 16th September 2011 at the August 7th Memorial Park site.

Kudos to all our blood donors!!