BY DOREEN NASASIRA – The Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has lauded the Indian Association Uganda for implementing initiatives aimed to a good cause of saving lives through heart surgery and blood donation.

The Premier made the remarks at an event organised by the Indian Association Uganda to celebrate the completion of 100 heart surgeries and roll out the Blood 4 Uganda mobile application at Kabira Country Club on Thursday.

The two initiatives are part of the corporate social responsibility activities organized and implemented in Uganda by the Indian Association Uganda. The heart surgery initiative was started in 2008 and focuses on helping children suffering from heart ailments, while the blood donation initiative was started in 2012 and over 20,000 units of blood have been collected since its inception.

Dr Rugunda said Government deeply appreciates the initiatives of the Indian Association Uganda, adding that they are correct priorities focused on saving lives.

“The Indian Association Uganda has spent resources on a good cause. This is what builds society because the initiatives save lives. Many children in Uganda are born with heart defects and they do not have support. Thank you, the Indian Association Uganda for choosing to help these needy but deserving children. Thank you for your generosity and great priorities aimed to save lives. You have set a good example!” Rugunda said.

The Premier also commended the Association for developing the blood for Uganda mobile application that links those in need of blood to different blood donors hence overcoming blood shortages. He tasked the youth to develop solution-oriented innovations.

Rugunda urged the citizens to be exemplary by donating blood to save lives. He pledged government support to the Association.

The Executive Chairman of the Indian Association Uganda, Mr Mohan Rao said the initiative to support children with heart ailments was based on the fact that about 15,000 children born every year in Uganda have heart ailments. The association supports needy children suffering from heart ailments by sponsoring their medical expenses and travel to India for open-heart surgeries. It also provides medicine to them for three months after the surgery.

Mr Mohan also noted that the mobile application will bridge the gap between those who need the blood and the blood donor.

The Director-General of Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, Dorothy kyeyune, appreciated the Indian Association in Uganda, for undertaking an initiative focused on ensuring that there is an adequate supply of blood in the country, and urged others to donate blood regularly.

“This drive has enabled to increase blood donations through the mobilisation of donors. We, however, need to donate more blood because we all have patients who need blood that is safe and enough,” Dorothy said.

The Secretary-General of Uganda Red Cross Society, Mr Kwesiga Robert expressed optimism that the mobile application will put an end to blood shortages.

The function was attended by medical practitioners, beneficiaries of the initiatives and members of the Indian Association Uganda.

Ends.

Friday, February 28, 2020