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Cartels selling blood donated by Kenyans to Somalia – CS Kagwe

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday confirmed that detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have opened an investigation into claims that blood donated by Kenyans was being sold abroad.

This revelation comes amid reports that Kenya has inadequate capacity to screen and store donated blood.

Mr Kagwe accused cartels at MoH of draining Kenyan blood banks and officials from the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) of creating an artificial blood shortage.

The CS said that the DCI will investigate claims of sale of blood to Somalia.

According to reports, the blood is mostly sold in neighbouring Somalia by a cartel comprising officers from the KNBTS, which is under the Ministry of Health.

Without any regard to women and children

“These cartels have been engaged in blood trade within as well as outside the country for selfish gain without any regard to women and children who are dying in hospitals as a result of this shortage.”

The current shortage of blood in the country is said to have been occasioned by the illegal blood business and detectives are seeking to establish the role played by KNBTS officials in the criminal activity.

The CS termed the illegal sale of blood as unfortunate.

“The Ministry is aware that there are criminal elements both within and outside the country who are colluding with outsiders to escalate the problems pertaining to blood countrywide,” he added.

KNBTS, which runs Kenya’s only blood bank, blames the shortage of the commodity to the withdrawal of the US government’s PEPFAR funding.

Kenya blood bank has dropped to 164,000 pints against an annual demand of one million units.