News Column

Govt to start processing blood in SA

May 6, 2014

STEPHEN WANDERA -1



KAMPALA. Uganda could soon start processing blood in South Africa, under a process medically known as blood fractionation.According to the National Drug Authority (NDA) executive secretary, Mr Gordon Sematiko, the process is aimed at maximising the use of available blood."When we get blood from a donor, it goes under industrial process. Today, we only get two products; whole blood and serum but we can get over 10 products if we use modern technology just like other countries do," Mr Sematiko said yesterday.

"We are in advanced stages of negotiations with South Africa, which we hope can partner with us on this process. But before we officially kick it off, we shall need the backing of Parliament through legislation," he added.Speaking to MPs who paid a courtesy call at the NDA headquarters, Mr Sematiko called for their support for a Bill to realise the plan.

A Parliamentary Health Committee member, Dr Kenneth Omona, said: "These are some of the modern technologies that we are yearning for faster development. I will lobby my fellow MPs when the Bill comes to the floor of Parliament."

The blood processThe process involves separating various components of blood plasma to manufacture pharmaceutical products such as human albumin (water soluble protein) solutions, human immuno- globulin (antibody) preparations and human coagulation (clotting) factor proteins. This requires absolute control over four critical parameters, including alcohol concentration, temperature, pH level and ionic strength to extract and purify therapeutic proteins in plasma.

wouma@ug.nationmedia.com


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Source: Daily Monitor, The (Uganda)