GITEGA June 26th (ABP) – The Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, Dr Thaddée Ndikumana, chaired, on Thursday June 24 in Gitega, the ceremonies marking the celebration of the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD), coupled with the official inauguration of the regional blood transfusion center (CRTS) in Gitega under the theme “Give your blood to make the heart of the world beat”. Those ceremonies took place in the presence of the governor of Gitega, Mr. Venant Manirambona and representatives of international and national organizations working in the health sector, managers of health services and other public services of Gitega.
In his welcome address, the Governor of Gitega expressed his thanks to the Ministry of Health and its partners who provided support to rehabilitate the infrastructure of that center of undeniable interest to improve access for the people of the central-eastern region of the country to health care.
In his speech, Minister Ndikumana indicated that Burundi joins other countries of the world in celebrating World Blood Donor Day, usually commemorated on June 14 of each year. He underlined the importance of that day which constitutes a favorable framework for reminding ourselves of the importance of the humanitarian gesture of blood donation and which was associated in Burundi with the inauguration of the CRTS. He said that the center is among the achievements of the government this year and will serve the people from the provinces of Gitega, Karusi, Cankuzo, Rutana, Ruyigi and other neighboring provinces of Gitega.
The Minister of Health took the opportunity to express his heartfelt thanks to blood donors, recalling that whoever gives blood makes a gesture of saving human lives.
Among the groups that require blood transfusion are those injured in road accidents and others, pregnant women during childbirth, children under 5 suffering from malnutrition diseases and malaria. He called on adults and young people who meet conditions for blood donation to join other blood donors in saving human lives.
Dr Ndikumana congratulated the government of Burundi for implementing its promises it made for its first year in health, notably by building the CRTS and increasing ambulances in health districts across the country. He thanked the European Union which provided financial support via the NGO Cordaid in the rehabilitation of CRTS.
He invited the manager and staff of that center to do everything possible to ensure its proper functioning while promising that the Ministry of Health will spare no effort to ensure that this center offers quality services.
In his speech, the representative of blood donors, Déogratias Sinzinkayo, expressed his pride at having passed 34 years in making that humanitarian gesture and pledged that he will continue until reaching the age limit. He recommended intensifying public awareness sessions to generate greater support for blood donation.
In turn, the WHO interim representative in Burundi congratulated Burundi for continuing its efforts to improve the people’s access to blood transfusion even in this period of the coronavirus scourge. He said the WHO office will continue to support government initiatives to ensure universal access to safe blood donation.
On their part, the delegate of the European Union and the country director of the NGO Cordaid promised to continue their support for government initiatives aimed at improving the people’s access to quality care. Awards made up of certificates of recognition, hospital equipment, envelopes of 100,000 BIF, footballs, basketballs and volleyballs were granted to regular blood donors made up of individuals, associations and institutions.