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The Safe Blood Africa Project (SBA) is a Rotary cooperating organization sponsored by the Rotary club of Carmel Valley, California, USA, Rotary District 5230.  SBA coordinates Rotary International World Community Service Projects in Africa involving one or more Rotary clubs in Africa and one or more Rotary clubs in the United States or elsewhere in the world.

SBA’s mission is to enable and support establishment of voluntary blood donor programs in areas of Africa where blood is not readily available from blood banks.  Using SBA funds, Rotary club donations, Rotary District grants and Rotary Foundation matching grants, SBA procures and arranges for delivery and startup of a blood storage refrigerator with temperature monitoring and a backup generator to a publicly owned community hospital.  Each hospital is vetted in advance by the sponsoring African Rotary club(s) for its ability and willingness to support both the required blood testing and establishing and sustaining a voluntary blood donation program locally.  These blood storage facilities enable the hospital to obtain and store blood in advance of the need, making it possible to properly type, test for contaminants and store the blood safely.

Following installation and startup of the equipment, the African Rotary clubs support the hospitals in establishing ongoing voluntary blood donations in the local community to help create a supply of safe blood for emergency needs, primarily women in childbirth, children suffering from malaria and other tropical diseases and victims of accidents.  In many parts of Africa blood is only available for emergency needs from paid donors, since blood storage capacity is extremely limited.  In addition to the difficulty of finding and confirming the correct blood type, use of blood from paid donors often results in the transmission of blood borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, malaria and other tropical diseases.

Currently operating in Nigeria, SBA has since 2004 established 14 blood storage facilities in the country, expected to grow to 20 such facilities by the end of 2009.  Based upon current mortality data for Nigeria, each blood storage facility, operated at its maximum practical capacity, depending upon hospital staffing, availability of donated blood and testing supplies and other factors, may enable the hospital’s healthcare professionals to save as many as 800 lives annually, both by having the correct blood type on hand when it is needed, and by preventing transmission of blood-borne disease to the patient which often results in death at a later date.

SBA solicits U.S. tax deductible contributions from individuals and organizations other than Rotary to enable growth and expansion of the services we provide, including training for hospital blood technicians and for administrators of voluntary blood donation programs.  Our relationship with Rotary International is an enduring one, since local Rotary clubs in the communities in Africa that we serve are an essential component of SBA’s ability to accomplish our mission reliably and inexpensively at the grass roots level.

Helping save lives in Africa with safe blood
Please donate to The Safe Blood Africa Project
A 501(c)3 charitable organization sponsored by the Rotary Club of Carmel Valley, CA, USA District 5230
© 2024 The Safe Blood Africa Project
Photos © CHRIS KAUFMAN 2007 Used With Permission