Africa is changing. A change in attitudes in Lagos, Nigeria has resulted in a rise in voluntary blood donations. Africa Independent Television reports a rise in donations from 464 units in 2004 to 4,775 units in the year to 2013. The first six months of 2014 resulted in 1,888 donated units.
The gap in donations compared to the population of Lagos of 21 million is massive despite the small but positive start. The report indicates that a significant number of deaths are as a result of blood loss.
The scale of the challenge, shows the extent of the opportunity particularly for those Africans in the diaspora who have direct experience of blood transfusion donor technology and operations management and an entrepreneurial mindset.
The aspiration of the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee is to have 100 per cent of blood units donated by volunteers.
In developed countries, only 4 percent of adults ten to give blood, so the challenge of encouraging donations is a global issue. Each blood donation can help as many as 3 people and 100 donations is equivalent to 47 litres of blood.
Image credit: Marcelo Duarte, How to save a Life, CC BY-NC