The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) donated $385,850 (more than CFA242 million) worth of blood transfusion equipment to the Cameroonian Ministry of Public Health. This occurred yesterday on the sidelines of World Blood Donor Day.
The devices include 34 blood bag containers, 4 freezers for the conservation of plasma, 4 refrigerated centrifuges, 34 blood bank refrigerators, and 21 blood donor chairs, the donor said in a statement. The donation was done in line with the Support Project for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (Pasmni) backed by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The project aims to help reduce maternal, neonatal and infant mortality in the Far North, North, Adamaoua, East, and Central regions.
According to Noemi Dalmonte, Unfpa Cameroon Deputy Representative, the permanent availability of blood products, as well as blood transfusion capacities in health facilities, especially in maternity centers, is necessary to accelerate actions to eradicate maternal mortality in Cameroon. “Cameroonian women must be able to proudly carry a pregnancy without risking death in the process of giving life,” she said.
Despite a 40% drop in the maternal mortality ratio, nearly 4,000 pregnant women die each year while giving birth in Cameroon (Demographic and Health Survey 2018). The main cause is the shortage of safe blood, we learned.
It is estimated that 400,000 blood bags are needed each year in the country, but less than 25% are collected. Authorities are therefore calling on volunteer blood donors to help meet the demand.