Why Blood Donation is Important – Your Story

Sharing stories goes a long way in growing a garden of support for all those who have gone through a common experience and together not only a solution is crafted but also a soul comforted.

As Wanadamu marks its fifth month since inception on 4th July 2011 with a growing database of 2,000+ willing donors and having attended to 60+ appeals, the time seems right for us to share our stories.

a) Did you, a relative or a friend at one point need blood?
b) Have you ever lost a relative or friend because they couldn’t get blood on time?
c) What is your experience as a blood donor?

Share your story. Together, let us ensure everyone requiring blood gets it ASAP and no other life is lost due to insufficient blood supply. Let us sign up for Wanadamu and help the noble cause reach this goal. All we need is your story.

How to share a story

a) Blog about it post and link on social media tagged #mystory #wanadamu
b) Post a tweet or a facebook update or a note with a tag #mystory #wanadamu
c) Share your story in the comment section below
d) Email us your story on wanadamu@kunavijana.org Kindly indicate if you prefer to be anonymous and we shall not publish your name or personal details, just the story.

We at Wanadamu are committed to bridging the gap between donors and recipients in an effort. We have offered assistance in Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa, Meru and we have the capacity to attend to appeals in other parts of the country.

Informative Links:

  1. About Wanadamu
  2. Wanadamu Thank you post
  3. Wanadamu turns 4
  4. Wanadamu FAQ

You can also read posts on wanadamu done by BAKE, Up Nairobi, Ni Sisi, KenyanMom, Reflections and deflections blog, Mwirigi, Wamathai, AKenyanGirl, KevDaNative

About The Author

Kuna Vijana

An youth led initiative that seeks to empower the youth socially and economically to make them resourceful and responsible citizens using but not limited to talent.

Other posts by

Author his web sitehttp://www.kunavijana.org


11 2011

9 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1
  2. Mishi Amadi #

    I have seen situations where children needed blood badly and the mother was not allowed to donate for the child.the blood group was not available in the hospitaland the child life was in very bad shape.the hospitals around did not not have it either and probably the people to donate did not not have transportation to come to the hospital to donate ,it was 3am at night and they stayed very far.by the time everything was arranged to get the donors ,it was too late for the child.PLEASE DONATE BLOOD LET IT BE READY IN THE HOSPITALS TO AVOID SITUATIONS LIKE THAT.

  3. Anonymus #

    In 2007, my best friend convinced me to accompany her to donate blood, as this will get us cards from the Red Cross, Blood Transfusion Centres with our blood group on them. She later on went to explain that incase we got into an accident, and they find the card with us, they will give us priority when it came to receiving blood. Well, seemed like a great idea. ( I am yet to find out if she ever got the card)

    The first process was to find out if I am eligible to donate blood.The attendant looked at me and was very worried. Being so new to blood donation, I was twice worried. Then he told me that I was not eligible to donate, as this could potentially harm me. This meant I had just enough blood running through my body,and I had to get tested to know the kind of risk I was in.

    A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. I called my mother, I still regret that decision because up to this date she asks me how my ‘condition’ is.That week I did a complete blood count to evaluate the major types of cells in my blood.The Doctor explained that I had way below the normal count for Red blood cells. See, a normal count for red Blood cells is 3.93 – 5.69 M/ul while I had 1.45 . In short, I had a condition called Acute Anaemia

    Acute anaemia is the decrease of number Red Blood Cells or having less than the normal quantity of haemoglobin in the blood and because haemoglobin found in Red Blood Cells carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, anaemia leads to a condition called hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs.That really explained why I could not join any sports , jog, run or go up three flights of stairs or was I just unfit.well, I chose to work with the fact that I now had a ‘condition’ My first question was ‘how long do I have to live’ being only 23, I had things lined up for me to do before the date. Lucky for me, acute anemia can be controlled.

    Being a woman, you lose blood every month but what do you do to get it back? Unfortunately for some of us, it is not natural. We have to work extra hard to get back the blood in our bodies. We have a restricted diet, we have to be on medication throughout the months. Meds for blood building, meds for iron suppliments and the list goes on.

    However, this is what I learnt and would like to share with women. The body needs iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid to produce more blood cells. Iron deficiency is common with women who smoke, have heavy periods , vegetarians and women who eat a diet low in iron.

    Symptoms: tiredness , awareness of heartbeat, shortness of breath and dizziness, fainting, angina (chest pains) constant headache and leg pains.
    Treatment : iron tablets (may cause diarrhea or constipation at first) blood builder syrup
    Prevention: eat foods rich in iron e.g liver,beef,wholemeal bread,cereals,eggs and dried fruit,poultry products
    It is also important to note that you need to avoid foods that make it impossible for iron to be absorbed in the body like tea, coffee, alcohol, nuts, spinach , dairy products,broccoli,brown rice,oats,soy beans etc

    It is however important to get medical advices, as there are different types of Anaemia. As at now my blood count has risen over the past years. Still way below the normal count, but I am doing much better with the iron supplements.

    I am proud of the the Wanadamu Initiative started by Kuna Vijana. I feel it is an initiative started to save lives and prevent deaths from loss of blood, which is the most genuine initiative I have come across so far. Though I may never have enough to donate to save other people’s lives, I have asked all my friends and family to join the cause, and hopefully, we wil save more lives.

    Happy 5 months anniversary!

  4. Aleya #

    ‘Blood – it is in you to give’

    I remember hearing this slogan over the years, but I never felt
    particularly compelled to go out of my way to regularly donate blood. When
    I was younger, I used to think how badly is my one pint really needed.
    Surely, there must be hundreds of people donating blood, and so how badly
    is my one pint needed. Then earlier this year, my grandfather entered a
    stage in his cancer where he needed a steady supply of blood. Within a few
    days we had exhausted our own network of family and friends, and the
    hospital stressed the urgency of finding more donors. It was literally a
    case of life and death. I remember walking around, dazed and exhausted,
    feeling helpless as I watched people pass me by. So many people. So much
    blood. Yet we just were unable to meet the demand. The anguish we went
    through trying to get enough blood, and the panic of what would happen if
    we didn’t – I will never forget that. My grandfather passed away, and in
    the months following, I became acutely aware of blood appeals – on the
    radio, on twitter and through friends. I donated consistently, and stumbled
    across Wanadamu one day on Twitter. I immediately joined. Since then, I
    have seen again within my own family, the power of the Wanadamu network
    coming together. So now, even if I am warm and in bed, and it is 11:00 at
    night and pouring with rain, if I get an appeal, I will go out of my way to
    go and give blood. I know it saves lives. After all it is in us to give.


  5. Martin Njuguna #


    I feel honored to share my story and without further ado. My dad fell down around October 2011 and broke his hip bone being in his early 60’s before the doctor could perform a hip replacement surgery he ordered a couple of test to be performed, one of the test being a blood count test. As fate would have it, turned out he needed seven pints, which equates to getting seven people to donate blood – piece of cake right? boy was I wrong. Allow me to back track this story, being out of the country I made a few phone calls to about nine of my cousins and friends who promised that this would be effortless, well I now strongly believe that there exist a huge stigma in donating blood since we got the run around for about a week while my dad was still in Kenyatta National Hospital.

    Fast forward, now going into week two of playing the wait game; due to the time difference I got up early one day to chat with pal on gmail and try hack plan b. I saw Evans’ light was green and decided to drop him a line. Being an avid reader of media madness I figured maybe he can mobilize a couple of people and go donate blood, owing to the significant number of hits MM gets. “Hey, what’s the worst thing that would happen,” I said. Within a minute not only did he respond but promised to have guys go donate that very same day and after two days old man had a successful hip replacement surgery.

    I can NEVER thank you enough for coming through for my family and I at the darkest hour. so to speak and for this we are forever grateful.

    Thank you,

  6. 6
  7. Cassandra #

    I have always been keen on donating blood, but have never been on a blood registry. I have blood type O+ and always joke its my super power – to be a “giver”. The first time Evans told me about the registry, i thought it was a fabulous idea and registered immediately. I was sent a couple alerts, but for the first two was unable to donate. At this point I should mention that being in the registry has taught me some things about donation that maybe not everyone is aware of. As a woman, you cannot donate if you are or have just had your period – unless it’s an absolute emergency, in which case they will still exhaust all other avenues before they allow you to donate.

    The third alert, was an appeal for blood for Baby Adam, fortunately I was finally in a position to donate :) I asked a couple of friends (who weren’t on the registry) if they wanted to come along, and a good friend Tim, came with me. Unlike blood drives in school, my blood had to be screened for impurities, diseases (scary) and other things which they would need to find out to see if it was healthy enough to share, especially with a child. Luckily, we both were good to go! I hate needles, so that was the worst bit for me, but the harvest went smoothly and i had a good bag of blood to share. I didn’t feel as tired from the donation as my friend (twice my size in weight and height), which taught me the second thing I didn’t know about donation, size doesn’t matter. So if you’re quite small, you could still check with a doctor if you’re in a position to donate.

    Baby Adam is now a happy healthy child, I understand he is doing well, and it impresses me that Evans and his Wanadamu team take time to keep in touch with the families we have helped. I am looking forward to the next time I can donate blood, having learned my third lesson about donation – female donors wait FOUR months before they can donate again, unlike male donors who wait THREE.

    God bless the Wanadamu team!

  8. pretty_nanu #

    Wow, being a former constant blood donor, I think this is a great idea and especially when it’s a vijana initiative!


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