Blood donation services in Kenya have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as donors who have doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have to wait for at least seven days before donating blood.

There is a perennial shortage of blood in the country. The country’s National Blood Transfusion Service rarely manages to collect its target of one million units annually.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the deferment period allows the donor to assess whether they have any side effects after vaccination.

The week delay is worsening an already existing problem where hospitals are struggling to fill their blood banks.

Clinical pathologist Dr Grace Kiraka says her hospital, MP Shah, does not have enough blood in its bank and has to rely on patients' relatives to donate blood should they need it.

She says very few people are going to hospitals to donate blood during the pandemic and now with a deferment period there will be fewer donors.