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Kenyan Peacekeepers donate blood to Aweil Civil Hospital

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NAIROBI, Kenya, January 16, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- In a bid to reduce the number of deaths caused by shortages of blood at the Aweil Civil Hospital, UNMISS peacekeepers from the Kenyan Battalion assigned to Northern Bahr el Ghazal state donated blood today.

The state's only referral hospital has reported severe shortages in its blood bank in recent months, especially at the height of the 2012 rainy season which witnessed an unprecedented rise in the incidence of malaria and waterborne diseases.

“The decision was reached after (finding out that) the hospital had many fatality cases of children and pregnant mothers due to lack of blood,” said Lt. Robert Ngumbwa, who led a team of 15 peacekeepers to the hospital. Ten Kenyan peacekeepers previously donated blood on 31 December 2012.

Aweil Civil Hospital blood bank supervisor Santino Garang Kuan expressed his thanks for the blood donations and urged local residents to follow suit.

“Donating blood is normal and not harmful,” said Mr. Kuan.

The Kenyan Battalion has frequently reached out to assist the people of Northern Bahr El-Ghazal in the past. It has supplied sewage disposal service to important government facilities such as the Aweil Central Prison and the city's civil hospital.

The peacekeepers also provided force protection for humanitarian aid agencies that furnished assistance to internally displaced persons fleeing from violence in the northern parts of the state last year.