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New York--September 25, 2019--More than one-third of maternal deaths in Africa result from severe bleeding during delivery or after childbirth,1 and the lifetime risk of maternal death in sub-Saharan Africa is a staggering one in 36.2 Blood transfusions can help save mothers' lives, but blood shortages remain frequent in Africa, where more than 40 countries still fail to attain the World Health Organization's donation goal of 10 units per 1,000 inhabitants each year.3

Blood availability is a critical public health concern, requiring key stakeholders to come together and propose solutions to increase research, investment and resources for a safe and sustainable blood supply in Africa.

OAFLAD and Terumo BCT hosted The Importance of Blood for Africa's Mothers panel today. It is the first step toward elevating an adequate, safe and sustainable blood supply on the regional and national public health agendas in sub-Saharan Africa. Moderated by Ben Dotsei Malor, Chief Editor of the United Nations News, the event started an important dialog driving the blood agenda among thought leaders, policymakers and key stakeholders from the public and private sector, academia and not-for-profits.

"The First Ladies of Africa continue to work tirelessly towards reducing the high rates of maternal, neonatal and child mortality across our continent. We recognize that a lack of infrastructure and equipment for collection and processing of blood components are key impediments to achieving public health goals in Africa - particularly those related to maternal and child health. Our hope is that this discussion will result in concrete and actionable solutions to address blood safety and maternal health issues in Africa," said H.E. Auxillia Mnangagwa, First Lady of Zimbabwe.

"Saving lives is our joint responsibility, requiring commitment, expertise and capacity to support the UN SDG3 targets, particularly relating to maternal mortality. Our panel is a call to action for all stakeholders to do more. Terumo BCT is committed to building the capacity of communities to ensure an adequate, safe and sustainable blood supply," said Antoinette Gawin, President and CEO, Terumo BCT.

Panelists and Keynote:

  • - H.E. Auxillia Mnangagwa, First Lady of Zimbabwe
  • - H.E. Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou, First Lady of Niger
  • - H.E. Denise Nkurunziza, First Lady of Burundi
  • - Dr. Wangari Ng'ang'a, UHC Technical Adviser, Executive Office of the President, Kenya
  • - Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, MP and Minister of Health, Ghana
  • - Dr. Prosper Tumusiime, Acting Director, Health Systems and Services Cluster, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa
  • - Ash Rogers, Executive Director, Lwala Community Alliance (Keynote Address)
  • - Antoinette Gawin, President and CEO, Terumo BCT
  • - Dr. Shirley Owusu-Ofori, Transfusion Medicine Specialist and Head of Transfusion Medicine Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana
  • - Gavin Evans, Executive Director, Global Blood Fund
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    First Ladies and Panelists

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    OAFLAD and Terumo BCT panel discussion


The Organization of First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD)mission is to contribute to the health and well-being of children, youth and women through advocacy, resource mobilization and strategic partnerships. OAFLAD is working toward reducing the high rates of maternal, neonatal and child mortality and morbidity rates in Africa. OAFLA.ORG.

About Terumo BCT

Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cell therapy technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing, and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood and cells to do even more for patients than they do today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers. TERUMOBCT.COM.

    • 1

      Khan KS, Wojdyla D, Say L, Gulmezoglu AM, Van Look PF. WHO analysis of causes of maternal death: a systematic review. Lancet. 2006;367:1066-1074. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68397-9.

    • 2

      Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990-2015. Estimates developed by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division. 2015.

    • 3

      Weimer A, Tagny C, Tapk J, et al. Blood transfusion safety in sub‐Saharan Africa: a literature review of changes and challenges in the 21st century. Transfusion. 59:412-427. doi:10.1111/trf.14949

About Terumo

Terumo (TSE: 4543) is a global leader in medical technology and has been committed to “Contributing to Society through Healthcare” for 100 years. Based in Tokyo and operating globally, Terumo employs more than 30,000 associates worldwide to provide innovative medical solutions in more than 160 countries and regions. The company started as a Japanese thermometer manufacturer, and has been supporting healthcare ever since. Now, its extensive business portfolio ranges from vascular intervention and cardio-surgical solutions, blood transfusion and cell therapy technology, to medical products essential for daily clinical practice such as transfusion systems, diabetes care, and peritoneal dialysis treatments. Terumo will further strive to be of value to patients, medical professionals, and society at large.

Among the information that Terumo discloses, the forward-looking statements including financial projections are based upon our assumptions using information available to us at the time and are not intended to be guarantees of future events or performance. Accordingly, it should be noted that actual results may differ from those forecasts or projections due to various factors. Factors affecting to actual results include, but are not limited to, changes in economic conditions surrounding Terumo, fluctuations of foreign exchange rates, and state of competition.


Information about products (including products currently in development) included in this material is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.