Catherine Wangari, 18, holds her baby, Sheilla, at Kenyatta National Hospital. Sheilla's suffering from jaundice. Her life is in danger without blood transfusion.
Kenya’s blood banks are beginning to run dry. The country had relied for years almost entirely on U.S. aid for its state-run blood transfusion service, but the funding was discontinued in September, 2019. The U.S. government gave Kenya $72.5 million over more than 15 years through its global HIV/AIDS prevention program, called PEPFAR, to build its blood safety and transfusion infrastructure nearly from scratch — from the blood banks themselves to equipment and training. The aid was aimed at building confidence in blood collection so Kenyans wouldn’t fear getting tested for the virus. Preparations for transitions were minimal hence the current blood shortage in the country.
One of our co-founders had so much difficulty finding blood for his ailing mother, at times they could go up to 2 weeks trying to find just a single pint of blood. Opportunists, taking advantage of the desperate situation, convinced the family into paying $180 for 6 units which were delivered very late and that too after going back-and-forth, hence affecting the treatment cycles. Eventually, that became a factor in the loss of her life. This had to change hence Redsplash Kenya was born.
EVERY 10 MINUTES A KENYAN NEEDS BLOOD, 60% OF THESE ARE WOMEN AND CHILDREN, AND LESS THAN HALF GET TRANSFUSION
Due to extremely high blood demand, we need to do as many blood drives as we can,however, that is not currently possible due to the hardships encountered when moving to different locations to conduct the blood drives. With a mobile unit, it will be possible to even conduct multiple blood campaigns in a single day and therefore collect as many blood pints as possible and help reduce the blood shortages experienced countrywide. This will be of immense benefit to the patients who require transfusion medicine.
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