By Christopher Nyeko
GULU: The number of blood donors who turned up yesterday for blood donation at Gulu Main Market was surprised after seeing a 49-year-old man who has set a record of donating his blood 43 times since 2005 also show up to donate his blood.
Wilberforce Ocaya, 49, a resident of Labora sub-county, Omoro district, and a security guard attached to Charity College secondary school in Gulu city, showed up to donate his blood with his blood donation card, indicating that Ocaya had donated his blood 43 times since 2005.
Ocaya, who is a polygamous man married to three wives with seven children, expressed his excitement and told this publication that he first donated blood in 2005 at Mega FM in one of the blood donation camps that was organized by Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.
He says he was able to donate his blood regularly because of the nature of his work as a security guard, where he has served in places like the Northern Uganda Youth Development Centre (Labora), where blood donation camps were held, adding that whenever he learns about the health camps where blood donation is part of the program, he rarely misses such a noble course.
Ocaya narrated that his 12-year-old son, living with sickle cell anemia, would have died if there were no blood donors. ‘’My son is surviving because of blood donors through blood transfusions,’’ he said, adding that this has motivated him to become a regular blood donor.
The school watchman who described blood donation as a humanitarian Nobel call rallied people of good will to continue donating blood to save many lives of those who are in need of blood.
The Uganda Red Cross Society officials recommended Ocaya and said that eligible blood donors can donate blood every 56 days after a recent donation and four times a year.
Yesterday’s blood donation drive was organized by the Indian community in Gulu City.
Sunil Tada, the chairperson of the Indian community in Gulu, says the blood donation drive was a part of the charity services and social corporate responsibility to the people of Gulu city as they were celebrating their 75th independence anniversary.
The blood donors were given assorted food items such as maize chili, juice, beans, and Posh cooking oil, among others, as a token of appreciation.
Kidaga Richard New, the focal person for blood recruitment in the Northern Region, revealed that they managed to meet their target of getting 150 units of blood because they got above that target, something he appreciated the Indian community for mobilizing for.
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