Friday, April 27, 2012


The group I'm working with started a virtual blood bank at the Juba Teaching Hospital, and it was featured on the BBC podcast "Health Check" on Wednesday, April 11th ( At JTH, normally family members must donate blood in order for their patient to get a pint or two of much needed blood. So typically a patient comes in with less than half the amount of blood in their body that they should have, and instead of getting a blood transfusion right away, they have to find a family member who is able to donate a pint of blood first. This van take days. Many family members don't want to donate due to many myths about donation, or they don't want others to know that they have one of the infections that are screened for before they can donate, like HIV. And when a patient comes in really hemorrhaging, and they don't have a family member available or willing to donate, they just die. So my friends here came up with the idea of getting a pool of willing donors (mostly ex-patriots), getting their contact info and blood type, and then bringing them in every 3 months or so when the stock is running low. And it appears to be making a difference. Pretty cool stuff.

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