Sufficient and safe blood is essential to guarantee a strong healthcare system. In Flanders, we are the largest supplier of blood products to hospitals and therefore we are an excellent partner to share our knowledge in the international context. We work with our sister Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and with blood institutions worldwide to increase the availability of safe donor blood.
An important task for many Red Cross and Red Crescent societies is to motivate and attract (new) donors. In doing so, it is important that people give blood on a voluntary and unpaid basis. Indeed, as Red Cross Flanders, we believe that only voluntary, unpaid blood donations provide sufficient safe blood, something that is not self-evident in every country. This view is based on scientific findings, which show that paid blood donations increase the risk of transfusion-transmitted diseases.
Based on our expertise in Flanders, we developed an international training to teach the basic principles to recruit voluntary blood donors. During this training, national Red Cross societies learn why blood is necessary, what the benefits of voluntary and unpaid blood donation are and which techniques can be used to efficiently reach and retain blood donors. This training is given by experienced staff or volunteers of Red Cross Flanders to staff of local Red Cross societies, so that they can then use the materials themselves to further train their volunteers and staff.
The content of this training will be adapted to the context of our partner countries. Under the guidance of experts from Sub-Saharan Africa and using scientific data, guidelines are being issued to further improve the content of the training.
Finding volunteer blood donors, however, is just the beginning. Before blood reaches a patient, a whole process must be gone through to ensure that safe and effective blood is administered. For example, the blood is tested for infectious diseases, stored at the correct temperature and sometimes divided into different components: red blood cells, plasma and platelets. Thanks to our extensive experience in Flanders, we support blood services worldwide in this too, and together we make processes efficient and qualitative. Based on an extensive context analysis, we can, for example, advise on the purchase of new equipment, organize training or design new processes.
Then apply to become expert mission volunteer First Aid or Blood using the contact form below!
If this is not what you are looking for, but would still like to help and think you have some expertise that could be useful, be sure to write to us as well.
Don't have time to volunteer but would still like to give this activity a boost?
If so, please contribute via BE53 0000 0000 5353 with the mention 'International - Blood'.
Red Cross-Flanders requires of its employees and volunteers the necessary professionalism, integrity and team orientation. It is important that each staff member and volunteer behaves in a proper manner in their relationship with others, especially with those in need.