ACCRA, GHANA, AFRICA - September 7, 2020 - 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 Mrs. 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 collaboration 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 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.
About Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a medical device company. Our products, software and services enable customers to collect and prepare blood and cells to help treat the challenging diseases and conditions of today and tomorrow. Our associates in more than 130 countries believe in the potential of blood and cells to do even more for patients than they do today.
About Global Blood Fund
Global Blood Fund is a non-profit established in 2008 and registered as a charity in both the US and UK. It is run by practising blood banking professionals who share a deep concern about the huge global inequalities in access to safe blood and a determination to do something about this problem. The aim is simple; to save lives by improving the availability and safety of blood in some of the world's poorest nations.
About National Blood Service Ghana
The mandate of the National Blood Service, Ghana, is to ensure an effective and coordinated national approach to the provision of safe, adequate and efficacious, blood and blood products, making it timely, accessible and affordable to all patients requiring blood transfusion therapy in both public and private health care institutions in the country.
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 28,000 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.