To further the trans-continental exchange of emerging best practices, Global Blood Fund (GBF) recently sponsored a plenary presentation at the 2014 (biennial) Congress of the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  Dr. Jose Cruz, formerly with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), spoke on Nicaragua’s recent success in achieving 100% voluntary, non-remunerated blood donation 



Dr. Cruz, who had worked closely with local leaders on this effort, presented in detail the factors that enabled Nicaragua's transition from paid and replacement donation schemes.  Understanding a practical pathway to VNRDB and hearing that this vital safety goal is attainable on a national scale were the key takeaways.

This initiative was particularly appealing because Dr. Cruz brought experiences from one low-HDI (human development index) country to others who share similar economic and social challenges.  Rather than the common paradigm of having an international speaker from a high-resource community try to transfer solutions from a disparate setting, this talk allowed exchange of ideas between blood bankers working in distant, but comparable situations.  

GBF was delighted to have facilitated this cross-pollination of ideas and would love to reproduce it elsewhere.  We welcome suggestions of suitable best practice examples and/or appropriate forums for disseminating them.  Please contact with your ideas.


  •  Submitted by John Armitage, M.D. (Rotary Club 29 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA)