The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service (FRCBS) is carrying out a three-year project in Nepal (2018-2020) to help develop the activities of the local Red Cross blood service. In 2015, earthquakes hammered the country causing major damage to the country’s blood banks and destroying some of them completely. The Finnish Blood Service offers expert services focused on the development of the security of donors, staff and blood products.
The Nepalese Red Cross has managed the blood service activities in the country for over 50 years, but practices differ from the standards of developed countries in many ways. The project launched in 2018 aims to focus on the development of competence in the blood donation process, which is known as capacity building.
The Blood Service’s four-person project team will visit Nepal three to four times a year and organise workshops and do field work at the blood service offices and mobile blood donation events.
During the first year, local nurses and physicians were trained on weighing donated blood instead of estimating its weight by visual observation, safe needle disposal, hygiene and prevention of adverse reactions to donors. Involving local nurses in the development of practices that make haemoglobin measurement possible and carrying out health surveys that comply with the standards are among the goals of the project.
Early in the project, the Blood Service team also seeks to put together a local multi-professional team that will become involved in the implementation of new practices while the project is still ongoing.
Disaster relief from many countries
A number of national Red Cross organisations have attended the reconstruction of the blood banks in Nepal under the auspices of the International Red Cross. Some of the focus on the blood product process from a quality perspective, and others have supplied equipment. The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service does not take money, materials or equipment to Nepal.
The responsibility of the Nepal project lies with the Global Advisory Panel (GAP), under the auspices of the Red Cross Federation, in the founding of which the FRC Blood Service was actively involved. The GAP seeks to promote good governance in the Red Cross blood banks and identifies countries that are in need of support in situations like post-disaster reconstruction.
In the past, the Blood Service has lent a hand in GAP projects in Somalia and the tsunami-affected areas in Thailand.