The supply of blood in many low- and middle-income nations in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) does not meet the patient care needs. Lack and delay of blood transfusion causes harm to patients and slows the rate of progress in the health system. Recognizing the power of implementation science, the NHLBI initiated the BLOODSAFE Program, which supports 3 SSA-based study teams and one data coordinating center with the goal to improve access to safe blood transfusion in SSA. The Ghana team is studying how to decrease iron deficiency in blood donors and social engagement of blood donors. The Kenya team is building a “vein to vein” process model to devise strategies to improve blood donation and infrastructural components of the blood system. The Malawi team is studying the infectious disease ramifications of blood donation as well as blood donor retention strategies aimed at blood donors in secondary school. The educational session will describe how they are working individually and as a consortium. The BLOODSAFE program has the potential to improve access to safe blood in SSA as well as mentoring and building the research capacity and careers of many investigators.
Describe the status of blood transfusion in two sub-Saharan Africa nations.
Recognize the importance of blood systems in improving access to blood in low and middle income nations.
Identify obstacles to access to safe blood transfusion over time.