By Omolabake Fasogbon.
Stakeholders in the public and private sectors across sub-Saharan Africa have come together to launch the Coalition of Blood for Africa (CoBA) on a virtual platform.
This development reflects a growing consensus that progress toward adequate, safe and sustainable blood in Africa requires multi-stakeholder, multi-pronged and innovative approaches to impact lives across the continent.
The coalition brings together an unprecedented array of health experts, including public-sector research institutes, ministries of health, academia, not-for-profit research and development organisations.
Others involved are NGOs, international organizations and funders all committed to finding solutions to address the challenges facing access to safe, sustainable blood in Africa.
Speaking on the initiative,President and Chief Executive Officer of Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies,Antoinette Gawin, said, “The coalition’s goal is to support the World Health Organization’s commitments [WHA63.12] and aligns with our global mission to serve more patients. Providing safe access to blood in Africa is one way to achieve this.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the number of units of blood needed to sustain an adequate level of health equals 1% of a nation’s population – 10 units per 1000 people. Yet many African countries fall well short of the minimum goal. The lack of infrastructure and equipment for collection and processing of blood components is a key impediment to providing a sustainable blood supply. Though blood and safe transfusion services are essential parts of any strong health system, the safety, sustainability and adequacy of blood remains a major health challenge in many African countries.”
Executive Director, Global Blood Fund, Gavin Evans, added, “The scale of the challenge is clearly beyond the scope of a single organization and I am confident that the coalition will facilitate a coordinated approach to address the challenges facing blood in Africa and find sustainable solutions.”
The launch of CoBA was convened by Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cell technology, in collaboration with Global Blood Fund, Africa Practice, Africa Health Business and Siemens Healthineers.