Safe Blood for Africa Foundation™

Approximately six million blood transfusions are administered to seriously ill patients in Sub-Saharan Africa each year.  This falls short of the estimated need for life saving transfusion in sub-Saharan Africa which is approximately 18 million units of safe blood per year.

Recently WHO (Fact Sheet Blood Safety and availability) estimated that:

  • Of the 118.5 million blood donations collected globally, 40% of these are collected in high-income countries, home to 16% of the world’s population;
  • In low-income countries, up to 54 % of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age; whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 60 years of age, accounting for up to 75% of all transfusions;
  • Based on samples of 1000 people, the blood donation rate is 31.5 donations in high-income countries, 15.9 donations in upper-middle-income countries, 6.8 donations in lower-middle-income countries and 5.0 donations in low-income countries;
  • An increase of 7.8 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been reported from 2013 to 2018. In total, 79 countries collect over 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors; however, 56 countries collect more than 50% of their blood supply from family/replacement or paid donors;
  • Only 55 of 171 reporting countries produce plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMP) through the fractionation of plasma collected in the reporting country. A total of 90 countries reported that all PDMP are imported, 16 countries reported that no PDMP were used during the reporting period, and 10 countries did not respond to the question;

The Safe Blood for Africa Foundation™ (SBFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Foundation which was established in 1999 to assist African countries to achieve a safe and adequate blood supply free of TTI.  In addition, ‘Safe Blood’ requires quality assured testing, correct storage, and safe administration to patients after having been checked for compatibility.

The SBFA provides Technical Assistance in developing National Blood Services, conducting specialist training for Blood Safety Professionals including clinicians, scientific and technical staff, donor recruiters, counsellors and nurses.  The Foundation has funded and participated in numerous programmes promoting Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donation (VNRBD) and has conducted specific training in technical skills such as donor recruitment and management, laboratory management, testing and blood grouping and for the appropriate clinical use of blood.  This is supported by Quality Assurance and Monitoring and Evaluation.

SBFA was contracted by The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC – Atlanta, USA), to conduct training in Blood Safety.

Training encompasses:

  • National Policy Development and National Strategic Planning;
  • Quality Assurance Systems;
  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP);
  • Testing Transfusion Transmissible Infection (TTI) markers;
  • Blood grouping;
  • Blood component production;
  • Compatibility testing;
  • Promotion of Appropriate Clinical use of Blood (ACUB);
  • Donor care, counselling donor sensitivity and donor management training; and
  • Laboratory procurement and construction management.


Promoting the health renewal of Africa through increased access to Safe Blood