Blood donation success stories from countries
Young people rise up to challenges
Even before the earthquake of 2010 destroyed its national blood centre, Haiti already faced many health challenges, including a high rate of maternal and child mortality that called for a regular supply of safe blood for transfusion.
In 2004, support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis and PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, USA) has increased annual blood collection from less than 10 000 units to more than 30 000 units in 2012.
In 2012 Haiti launched a strategy to attract more blood donors, to increase the proportion of blood collected from voluntary, unpaid blood donors to 85% (with the aim of reaching 100% volunteer donors) and increase the proportion of regular blood donors to 40%. It tapped into a network of volunteer promoters and sent mobile blood drives around the country to spread the word about the importance of blood donation. Flyers, stickers, t-shirts, books and pens were handed out, with the aim of attracting younger donors using the concept of Club 25.
This international initiative encourages young people aged 16 to 25 to become regular volunteer blood donors. Club 25 also includes educational activities about safe sex and other health issues linked to remaining a low-risk donor. Plans are also underway to build a new national blood centre and to establish two regional blood centres.