With PEPFAR support, the Kenyan National Blood Transfusion Service and blood donor mobilizing organizations target low-risk, volunteer blood donors, including adults in workplaces, high school and college students, and members of community- and faith-based organizations. All blood is screened for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. These efforts have contributed to a decline in HIV prevalence among donors – from approximately six percent in 2000 to less than two percent in 2006. There also has been a significant increase in safe blood units collected – from approximately 43,000 units in 2004 to 113,000 units in 2006. Safe blood collection efforts help to fulfill an estimated need for approximately 250,000 units.
Public-private partnerships to identify low-risk, regular blood donors in the workplace have bolstered safe blood collection efforts. In 2006, more than 60 businesses actively mobilized their employees to donate blood regularly. For example, in 2006, the Kenyan National Blood Transfusion Service and the Bloodlink Foundation partnered with Safaricom, a leading cell phone company in Kenya, in the year-long, national “Safaricom Blood for Life Drive.” Safaricom provides logistical support, as well as advertising through a series of five-day campaigns on five major radio stations and in print media. During the launch of the Safaricom Blood for Life Campaign in Nairobi on Valentine’s Day 2006, the Kenya Flower Council donated long-stemmed red roses, which were given to donors. These public-private partnerships are contributing to the sustainability of the Kenyan volunteer blood donation program and are helping to save lives.