Safe Blood project for Latin America

 

Working in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), members from several Rotary clubs in District 7620 (Maryland and Washinton D.C.) and  in District 7610 (Virginia) have established the Safe Blood Inc. to promote voluntary non-remunerated blood donation and safe blood transfusions in Latin America and Caribbean countries. The project has become incorporated to obtain a non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the US, thus, making contributions deductible to American tax-payers. (Updated May 2, 2009).

 

- Safe Blood Inc. focuses on educating potential blood donors in Latin America, of the importance of voluntary non-compensated blood donations and the  proper safeguarding of those blood donations, committee member William B. "Bill" Bailey tells GNBD.

 

Bill Bailey is a past president of Bailey's Crossroads Virginia Rotary Club and has served a three-year term as an Assistant Governor in District 7610.  He is a member of the Safe Blood Committee in coordination and teaming with District 7620.

 

The project Safe Blood Inc. was presented by Bill Bailey at  the 11th International Colloquium on the Recruitment of Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donors, held in Cairo, Egypt in 2008. The colloquium, a high-visibility event, was opened by Suzan Mubarak, the Egyptian Red Crescent President and wife of Egypt's President, Hosni Mubarak. Nearly 250 participants from 74 countries and eight international health organizations participated. The Safe Blood Inc. project was invited by the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Society.

 

 - Our current methods are to visit Rotary clubs in the partnering country and provide guidance and training on how to set up a Safe Blood project; and to provide seed money for brochures and advertising on local radio, TV, and print, and for training materials and incidentals; and to provide motivation and training for partner clubs and local Rotary advisors. Sustaining the program is a local club responsibility, Bill Bailey told the Cairo conference.

 

- We have created more sources of volunteer blood donations through targeting youth and young adults, such as college students, as future donors and focusing on wives and mothers for blood safety in child-birth, Bill Bailey explained.

 

  • The initiative began in 2001 through local discussions. During 2002, Rotary District 7620 (Washington D.C./Maryland) formed a task force through which visits to three Latin America countries were made, resulting in Rotary matching grants. The visits culminated with a two-day workshop at the PAHO Headquarters in Washington D.C.         
  • This workshop began the development of the first projects; and the task force then expanded to a second Rotary District, 7610 of Virginia.
  • The task force was formally incorporated in 2005 as SAFE BLOOD, Inc, a non-profit charitable group, and has been endorsed by Rotary International. And Rotary districts are now looking at what we are doing and are joining in a form of a safe blood project, William B. Bailey told the Cairo conference.

Over the years, several national Rotary Safe Blood Committees within Safe Blood Inc. have been formed and Rotary grants have been authorized for a number of countries. 

 

In his capacity as Director/Coordinator of the Safe Blood Committee for Ecuador and the Andean Region, Dr. James A. Herrera, member of Rappahannock-Fredericksburg Rotary Club, has been promoting voluntary blood donation among Rotarians in District 4400 during several visits to Ecuador, particularly in Quito and in Ibarra. Dr. Herrera's three-year report to Safe Blood Inc. Committee can be found by clicking here   or under DOWNLOADS. The report highlights his activities in promoting safe blood donations in Ecuador.

 

In his report for the year 2009, Dr. James A. Herrera states:

 

There is an annual deficit of blood in Ecuador of about 100,000 units. This is the 30% of the amount of blood needed in the country.

  • The number of voluntary, Altruistic and repetitive blood donors is 35% .
  • The goal is to increase by 2011 the number of units of blood collected from 160,000 to 260,000; and
  • To increase the percentage of voluntary, altruistic and repetitive donors from 35% to 65% by the year 2011.

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Since the Cairo conference, Bill Bailey has received messages from delegates of countries as diverse as Slovenia and India.

 

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Footnotes:

 

If you missed the click further up to see Dr. James A. Herrera's three-year report on Ecuador, you now get another chance by clicking here.

Website of Safe Blood Inc.

Website of District 7610 .

Website of District 7620.

RI website of District 4400 (Ecuador).

Website of the Pan American Health Organization.

 

Contact: William "Bill" Bailey,  wbbailey@gmail.com

 

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