Kenya blood supplies run dry as funding withdrawn

Blood banks at Kenya’s public hospitals are dangerously understocked, forcing many patients to ask for donations themselves.

According to World Health Organization guidelines, a country like Kenya with 47 million people should be collecting up to a million units of blood every year.

Yet on average, only about 164,000 units are collected, mostly from schools and universities.

Doctors say blood is also running low because many Kenyans are reluctant to donate, mainly because of cultural and religious reasons as well as personal fears.

US funding for transfusion services was pulled last year.

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi reports from Nairobi, Kenya.