The Global Blood Fund is an independent non-profit [501(c)(3)] charity that seeks to improve the safety and availability of blood transfusion in developing world countries by providing better volunteer donor recruitment tools and improving blood donation experiences.
The GBF aims to assist concurrently three or four blood agencies around the globe which have creditable reputations for stewardship, success, and sustainability.
According to the World Health Organization, over 50 percent of the blood collected in developing countries comes from donors who are paid to donate or who are designated family/replacement donors. This type of donor has a higher risk of diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis, that can be passed through blood transfusion. The Global Blood Fund works with blood collectors in developing countries to help them recruit and retain safe voluntary donors. To do this, GBF supplies equipment and resources that enhance the individual’s donation experience and support the agency’s recruitment, tracking, education, and motivational efforts.
Bloodlink Foundation is the Global Blood Fund’s first beneficiary. Bloodlink works with the six blood transfusion centers in Kenya to recruit
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donors in businesses and schools. In Kenya, an estimated six patients die from blood related transfusion complications every hour.
· Kenya needs 200,000 blood products annually. Its centers currently provide just 130,000 products, leaving a deficit of 70,000 products.
60 percent of the blood collected comes from school children — ages 16 and up.
55 percent of blood donated is used to treat children with anemia and mothers during pregnancy and child birth.
Currently Bloodlink Foundation’s wish list includes:
Portable donor beds: Over 80 percent of the blood donated in Kenya comes from mobile blood drives. Too often, blood donors have to share a bed while donating. Portable donor beds that are light weight, sturdy, and transportable would be “invaluable” for improving the donation experience for both donors and staff.
Digital blood pressure machines: Current blood pressure machines are hard to operate and break down. This causes high rates of donor deferrals. Digital blood pressure machines aid blood donation by