Under the Integrated Program for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PIMI in the Portuguese acronym) IMVF has implemented, between October and December 2014, an awareness raising campaign on the importance of blood donation among the population of the Guinea Bissau’s regions of Cacheu, Biombo, Oio and Farim.

The results were very positive: 558 registered donors and 230 blood units collected, ensuring 86 blood transfusions and assuring the necessary blood stock for December. Six blood banks were installed in the Canchungo, Mansoa, Farim, S. Domingos, Bor and Cumura Hospitals, allowing a quick and free access to blood transfusions. Training courses on transfusion protocols and blood analyses and storage, targeting nurses, were also carried out.

In a country with one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in the world (also with almost half of maternal mortality related with postpartum hemorrhage) Guinea-Bissau had only two blood banks in the city of Bissau. The lack of adequate resources outside the capital prevented the collection and conduction of blood transfusions through an effective and safe way. After the project’s intervention the six referred health units have now better conditions to address the chronic problem of lack of blood in the country.

“Don’t stay out of the game, together we can save lives. Donate blood!”

The players of Guinea Bissau’s football national team joined this campaign and are the face of a TV spot, daily broadcast on RTP Africa, stressing the importance and need of blood donation. The campaign will remain active over the coming year – and blood collection dates are already defined for January. The TV spot will also be broadcast on the public television of Guinea Bissau.

The project aims to contribute to the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality in the regions of Cacheu, Biombo, Oio and Farim. It is implemented by IMVF in partnership with the United Nations Child’s Fund (UNICEF) and Entraide Médicale Internationale (EMI) and funded by the European Union with support of the Portuguese Cooperation and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Find out more about this project here.

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