If you live in Nigeria and require a blood transfusion you may face the following issues: shortage of blood supply due to blood donation being culturally unusual, prohibitive cost of acquiring blood, and the absence of a centralised system to log and track the supply of blood. These issues can lead to loss of life.
Bukola Bolarinwa has sickle cell disease requiring blood transfusions. She personally experienced the difficulty of getting blood in Nigeria, and so founded Haima Health Initiative (HHI) to address blood supply shortages and to save the lives of others, including fellow sickle cell disease sufferers.
“Our mission is to make sure patients in hospitals across Nigeria get access to blood, when they need it, no matter where they are.”Bukola Bolarinwa
HHI is a social enterprise that organises monthly blood donation drives and emergency response for patients in need of blood transfusions across six states in Nigeria. HHI addresses the shortage of blood supply for persons in need of blood due to inadequate voluntary blood donations, the prohibitive cost of acquiring blood and the absence of a centralised blood banking system in Nigeria.
Through its 24-hour helpline, WhatsApp, and online database, HHI connects voluntary donors to patients in need of blood. HHI also organises transportation of donors and blood components, such as platelets, to patients in need.
HHI runs monthly blood drives and mobile blood delivery services to improve access to blood for people who need lifesaving transfusions.
Since its inception in 2015, HHI has registered over 4,000 voluntary blood donors and supported the collection of over 4,500 pints of blood. Haima responds to over five hundred blood requests every year with its advocacy that reaches over 10,000 people online.
HHI is among nineteen organisations that are currently enrolled on the Youth Ventures Programme (YVP). Through the YVP, QCT provides youth-led organisations with flexible funding, practical tools and technical support, and access to a global network of young leaders for 2+ years.
With QCT’s support since March 2022 HHI has been able to:
Launch Haima Mobile, a mobile blood delivery service, and work with 12 hospitals ensuring speedy access to blood.
Organise 26 blood drives that collected a total of 552 units of blood from donors in Kano, Lagos and Abuja cities of Nigeria.
Strengthen its organisation, with improvements to safeguarding, and a clearly defined strategic growth plan.
“QCT ‘s YVP funding has made a significant difference to our impact. This has allowed us to expand from collecting blood through donor drives to improving the blood supply chain by delivering blood using cold chain delivery bikes to patients and hospitals in Nigeria.”Bukola Bolarinwa
Future work supported by QCT in 2023:
HHI’s goal is to further advocate for voluntary blood donations and to roll-out Haima Mobile services in 24 hospitals in Nigeria.