Posted by Jo McKay
Lela Cote offers this update on the Safe Blood Program in Latin America.
The Project Partners:
1.    Rotary Clubs in seven Latin American Countries
2.    Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the largest component of the World Health Organization (WHO).
3.    National blood services of Ministry of Public Health in project countries.
4.    Other health professionals in these countries.
Completed Activities:
1.    Fact-finding missions to potential project countries.
2.    Formation of Rotary safe blood committee, MD-DC-VA
3.    Formation of Rotary Safe Blood Committees in project countries
4.    Replicate project in other Latin American countries.
5.    Rotary Foundation matching grants with Uruguay, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Columbia.
6.    Voluntary donors as a percent of the population has risen, as noted PAHO
7.    Meet initial success in improving public donation of blood, using
AHO statistics
8.    Began Safe Blood, Inc., to handle donations
9.    Most committee persons speak Spanish. We also have made many friends in Latin America, and we also work with the Ministries of Health and the Red Cross.
Listing of Countries Now Involved:
Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, El Salvador, Uruguay, Chile (preliminary), Caribbean – St. Lucia and Jamaica, Ecuador (Coastal and Inland Initiatives)
Awards to Rotary:
PAHO has expressed great appreciation for Rotary’s efforts in bringing safe blood to the cities of Latin America and Rotary was presented a certificate of appreciation in a formal ceremony. Their offices in each country do show progress in community donation and blood drives.
Future Plans:
1.    Continue to work with Rotarians in seven countries throughout all three phases of the project, maintaining the initial initiative and intensity.
2.    With PAHO, analyze the potential for programs in additional countries.
3.    Expand the overall program, possibly in cooperation with Rotary International.
More information:
Contact: Jerry Evans, PDG 7610
Committee members are available to make presentations.