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% drop in blood collections according to the National Blood Service.
In her June Statement, First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo said, “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 Queen Mothers of Ghana are mobilizing to help. The initiative, known as the Champions of Change, will create awareness on the critical importance of blood donation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative includes a social media campaign as well as the upcoming one-day workshop on 7 September in Accra organized for the Queen Mothers.
The workshop will deliver tools and strategies around donor recruitment and retention to support Queen Mothers 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 serving 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 make the decision 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.