There is a need to introduce blood donation among the youth as a noble gesture to save lives. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
There is a need to introduce blood donation among the youth as a noble gesture to save lives. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Social media is key for encouraging young blood donors in Africa, say experts

By Chad Williams Time of article published Jul 29, 2021

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The Coalition of Blood for Africa (CoBA) on Wednesday held a webinar on the role of youth in ensuring sustainable blood supply for the African continent.

CoBA says an adequate, safe and sustainable blood supply in Sub-Saharan Africa requires a multi-stakeholder, multi-pronged and innovative approach to make a meaningful impact across the continent.

Technical Officer for blood safety at the WHO Regional Office for Africa Dr Andre Loua says that there is a need to introduce blood donation among the youth as a noble gesture to save lives.

He says it is important to motivate and encourage young people to donate blood regularly.

"It's critical to meet the young donor where they are. With the growth in technology, the best way to reach the youth would be Twitter, Instagram and Facebook" says Aaron Ogunde, Director of Damu-Sasa, which is an innovative end-to-end blood services information management system.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), blood donation has fallen by 17 percent in the African region in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that has caused widespread disruptions to key health services, lives and livelihoods.

WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti says that disruptions to the steady supply of safe blood can be life threatening.

“We deeply appreciate the selfless, lifesaving gesture of blood donors and urge countries to set up and reinforce systems to increase voluntary blood donations,” Moeti said.

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