Nairobi, Kenya; April 14th, 2021
The Kenya Girl Guides Association (KGGA) and Damu Sasa System Ltd (DSL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work towards boosting blood donations in the country. This initiative is part of the grand Centenary celebrations of the oldest and largest women-only organization in Kenya.
Moved by the ever-growing and perpetual gap between actual and target donations, the two organizations will combine efforts towards reducing the recurrent shortfall in donated blood. The partnership comes at a time when the country is facing a blood shortage crisis, occasioned in part by a weak blood donation culture – a situation further exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) collected only 16% of the 1 million units the country needed. The MOU envisions KGGA leveraging its membership that spans more than 10,000 institutions of learning and over 300,000 individuals, its community influence and goodwill, in the realization of the objectives of the MOU.
On its part, DSL will leverage its goodwill with potential corporate partners, healthcare transfusing facilities and registered donors to actualize the intent of the MOU. In addition, DSL will provide its Damu Sasa blood services management platform to enhance the efficiency with which donations are made. The joint efforts will be three-pronged: raising awareness regarding the need for blood among potential donors, co-opting other entities (especially corporate organizations) into the efforts and helping conduct blood donation drives.
The parties believe that raising awareness can lead to more Kenyans (individual and corporate) registering as donors and donating blood regularly. Awareness will constitute the communication of factual information on the status of blood donations and the impact this has on the lives of those that depend on the donated blood, in addition to the overall (individual and society) benefits of donating blood.
As well, the parties realize the magnitude of the challenge and hence seek other partnerships towards the efforts. Corporate entities and health facilities participating in the joint efforts will commit towards raising awareness and championing blood donation drives with their stakeholders.
Working with others, the parties will jointly plan and conduct blood donation drives through spirited efforts towards donor registration, scheduling and actual donations. “This effort is consistent with the spirit of the Kenya Girl Guide movement of volunteerism and nurture. It is also opportune, considering it is happening as we celebrate one hundred years of existence in Kenya,” Priscilla Gathiga, the National Executive Officer said.
“Signing this MOU is part of our efforts to affirm the Guide Law, ‘A Guide will do a good turn every day’ by giving back to the society in which we have existed and thrived for the last century,” she added.
Speaking at the event, DSL’s co-founder Kilemi Thambura said that, “while the Damu-Sasa technology would enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of blood services management, partnerships such as this with KGGA enhance the efforts towards solving the blood shortage challenge in the country. “No single entity, be it governmental or non-governmental, can solve the problem alone,” adding that, “if you want to go fast, go alone but to go far one needs others, as the Chinese saying goes.”
About the Kenya Girl Guides Association:
Kenya Girl Guides Association (KGGA) is one of the largest organizations in Kenya for girls and young women. KGGA, which has been active in Kenya since 1920, is a multi-racial, multi-religious, non-political and non-profit-making organization. KGGA delivers high-quality non-formal educational programmes that provide girls and young women with dynamic, flexible and value-based training in life skills, playing a unique role in creating a world where girls and young women are valued and empowered to take action to change the world.
About Damu Sasa System Limited (DSL):
DSL is a Kenyan-based technology firm with a focus on the healthcare sector. DSLs’ flagship platform, Damu-Sasa was developed to modernize the blood service chain via a series of features such as maintaining an accurate donor database that allows prompt donation appeals during emergencies, ensuring real-time observation of blood level fluctuations, improving real-time monitoring and evaluation of the blood situation and providing reporting (real-time and otherwise) reports that aid decision-making. Presently, more than 135 healthcare facilities in Kenya use the platform for their blood services management.