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An Urgency to Establish a Centralised Somali Blood Bank

Mohamed Hasan Gelyac
Thursday October 19, 2017

Because of total collapse of formal health care system for nearly threedecades, areliable blood bank system or patient blood management in Somalia is in its worst shape anyone can imagine.

As a transfusion scientist of many years, I have felt compelled to draw attention of the government officials and general publics for the urgency and need of establishing this component of health care. 

Our society is more prone to Man-Made disaster such as the catastrophic scene in the 14 of October at Zoope Junction in Mogadishu.It is sooften to hear and see Somalia’s government officials and health professionals appealing to the public for blood donations.   

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The function of Blood Bank is a place where blood is collected from donors, typed & tested, separated into components, stored and prepared for transfusion to potential needy patients.

In the light of Saturday’s disaster, more people succumbed and lost their lives due to lack of transfusions than original trauma (physical injury) as there was no system in place, Massive Transfusion Protocol, to cater for such disastrous effect.   Imagine you love someone who is bleeding terribly and you have to rely on family and friend members to come to Hospital from far distance in order to donate.  Surely it is impossible to obtain enough and safe bloods in very short period of time like half-hour to save this person.

Moreover, bomb blasts and gunshot wounds are not only triggers of massive transfusion needs.  According World Health Organisation (WHO), “A woman in Somalia has a one in 10 chance of dying due to pregnancy and childbirth related causes during the course of her life.  Mothers die due to lack of access to emergency obstetric care for timely management of the main complications of childbirth such as haemorrhage”. 

Again, let’s keep in mind, that obstetric rupture and other types of complication is not a disorder or disease exclusive for Somali mothers in Somalia but it rather a problem that could happen to any mother in everywhere.  To put it differently, all these young mothers die because of lack of transfusion services.

Therefore, it is timely urgent to establish a centralised Somali blood bank since the enemy of humanity like Al-shabab is still actively pursuingtheir evil actions and carrying outof heinous attacks targeting innocent people in order tomaximisecasualties. We are in dire need to have fully functioning of centralised blood bank system as part of Emergency Response Plan to mitigate the disaster. Are we ready to do so? 

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