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Why Charlene Ruto was counselled before receiving blood results

First Daughter Charlene Ruto, who recently donated blood at the National Blood Transfusion Center, shared with her social media followers her experience of being counselled before receiving her donation results.

In a post, she explained that she was required to attend a counselling session before obtaining her results, as per the World Health Organization standards.

“I’m at the National Blood Transfusion Center, and the last time I donated blood, I didn’t get my results,” Charlene shared on social media.

“I kept complaining, and they told me that according to the World Health Organization standards, for me to get my results, I have to come in and attend a counselling session so that no matter the results, I can be able to take it all in.”

Addressing the importance of youth involvement in blood donation, Charlene emphasised that young people make up 70% of the country’s population and have the potential to contribute significantly to meeting blood supply needs.

“All the blood ambassadors have different strengths; the strength I bring to the table is my capacity with the young people of Kenya and not just of Kenya but of Africa,” Charlene stated.

“We are 70% of our population, and our mean age is about 19.5, so these are the same people I am going to be calling out.

We are going to go to the universities, high schools, and different institutions because as young people, if we don’t lead this course, then it is going to fail.”

Charlene encouraged young people to overcome their fears and adopt healthy lifestyles, emphasizing that blood donation can save lives in various emergencies.

“I know we have our fears getting to know your status, getting to know whether you are okay. But as young people, if we can live healthy lifestyles, we can save the lives of our mothers, brothers, or a young child somewhere,” she added.

Charlene highlighted the importance of blood donation, especially in emergencies like the recent incident in Embakasi, where blood is crucial for the treatment process.

Guidelines for Blood Donor Counseling

The implementation of blood donor counseling guidelines serves as a crucial step for Blood Transfusion services in ensuring informed consent for blood donation and identifying unsafe donors.

Counseling sessions provide an opportunity for donors to make informed decisions regarding their eligibility for donation, including deferring if they have been exposed to transfusion-transmissible infections, possess known health conditions, or have undergone treatments affecting their suitability.

Efficient counseling significantly reduces the donation of unsuitable blood, thereby minimizing wastage of valuable resources such as donor and staff time, consumables, and screening tests.

Moreover, it prevents unnecessary discomfort to donors while contributing to overall blood safety.

Blood donor counseling plays a pivotal role in maintaining a pool of safe, healthy, and reliable voluntary non-remunerated blood donors, thereby reducing the prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections in donated blood.

Charlene was appointed as Kenya Blood Ambassador by Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha.

This appointment recognizes Charlene’s significant contribution to blood donation efforts within the country.

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