Online Program

Durable Partnerships for Safe Blood in Mali

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Allan Goldberg, MD, Merck and Co, Inc, North Wales, PA
Laura Gwathmey, MA, Global Health Programs, Physicians for Peace, Norfolk, VA
Peter Zacharias, D.Sc., Safe Blood for Africa, Rivonia, South Africa
Leslie Hoglund, PhD, MEd, Physicians for Peace, Norfolk, VA
Leslie Toledo, MPH, Physicians for Peace, Norfolk, VA
Although a reliable and safe blood supply is a cornerstone of any healthcare system, a significant barrier to providing it is a lack of technical infrastructure and expertise. Today, approximately 80% of the worlds’ population has access to only 20% of the world’s blood supply. While many sub-Saharan Africa health facilities perform person-to-person transfusions as the need arises, few are able to collect, screen, store, and provide blood to meet the demand. The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Mali has a policy to create blood centers outside the capital of Bamako, yet resource limitations make implementation of the policy unrealistic. Physicians for Peace, Safe Blood for Africa, and Hôpital Nianankoro Fomba (HNF) have united to respond to a request by the MOH for a blood banking and testing center in the Ségou region. After two years of fact finding and the construction of a new blood center building, the country experienced a coup.  Rather than withdraw, partners re-committed, deploying equipment, supplies, and training in blood collection, storage, and transfusion.  Today, HNF is home to the Ségou region’s first blood center, with a trained and equipped staff and facility, serving a population that did not previously have access to a safe blood supply. The cornerstones of the program’s design are the engagement of local experts as trainers, community engagement, input from all partners, a robust evaluation plan, and the MOH’s commitment to sustain the blood center over the long term.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the challenges associated with developing a blood donation and screening center in Sub-Saharan Africa. Demonstrate essential characteristics of global health collaboration to include joint action for mutual benefit, interdependence and reciprocity, mutual authority and accountability, shared risk and rewards, and dynamic tensions. Explain how durable partnerships can be built on trust to advance the implementation of a blood bank in rural S├ęgou, Mali.

Keyword(s): Partnerships, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 10 years of experience working as a global health program director.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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