COVID-19: Queen Mothers’ to help reverse low blood collections in Ghana

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The Queen Mothers of Ghana are mobilizing to help create awareness on the critical importance of blood donation and to reverse the 80 per cent drop in blood collections in Ghana due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The initiative, known as the Champions of Change, will create awareness on the critical importance of blood donation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement said the initiative followed a call by the First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo in June for Ghanaians to donate blood to save lives.

“It is in these times of crisis, that we must come together to save lives. So today I am supporting the call for all healthy Ghanaian citizens, to be Champions of Change. Please give blood and save lives,” the First Lady was quoted as saying at the time.

Currently, thousands of maternal women, cancer patients, children with sickle cell disease and others who need life-saving blood transfusion are at risk.

This is due to an 80 per cent drop in blood collections, according to the National Blood Service.The Queen Mothers will use social media campaign and a workshop to deliver tools and strategies around donor recruitment and retention to support them in their community outreach.

The goal is to help build capacity for safe, available and accessible blood for patients all over the country.

Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies in partnership with the Global Blood Fund are behind the Champions of Change initiative in Ghana, lending their expertise and support to bring key stakeholders together to create awareness on the critical importance of blood donation during the crisis.

Approximately 80% of blood collections in Ghana are from students in secondary and tertiary schools and donations mobilized by faith-based organizations.
However, due to the necessary response to curb the spread of COVID-19, schools have been closed and large religious gatherings reduced, leading to 80% fewer blood collections recorded by the National Blood Service.

“We laud the First Lady and Queen Mothers’ efforts to develop the health infrastructure in your communities and gladly share our global experiences to help craft solutions for you. This is part of our commitment to serve in the communities in which we operate,” said Antoinette Gawin, President and CEO, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies. “Each of us has nine pints of blood, and it takes only one pint to save a life.”

Dr. Justina Ansah, CEO at the National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG), said, “We are optimistic that this campaign will reach far and wide for every healthy Ghanaian to decide to donate blood to save a life.”

Champions of Change partners in Ghana include The Rebecca Foundation; the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation; the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Training (INSRAT); and SMART Global.

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