The Fight Against Maternal Mortality through the Installation of a Solar Powered Blood Bank by the North West Regional Fund for Health Promotion PIG.
The Sustainable development goal (SDG) 3, a call for a reduction in the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 by 2030 and that no country should have an MMR greater than 140 per 100,000. According to trends in maternal mortality, an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths occurred globally in 2010. In Cameroon, Maternal mortality ratio has been on a constant increase during the last decade; from 669 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in 2004 to 782 per 100 000 live births in 2011. (DHS III, DHS IV).
Maternal death is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 48 hours of termination of pregnancy. The cause could be directly obstetric due to obstetrical complication or indirectly obstetric from a previously existing disease or a disease developed during pregnancy. Direct causes of maternal mortality include hemorrhage, infection, eclampsia or severe pre-eclampsia, dystocia and unsafe abortions. For every one woman who dies of a pregnancy related complication, 20 to 30 others have complications, with obstetric fistula being the worst. Post partum hemorrhage is one of the major causes of maternal death and the challenge of having fresh and safe blood to combat this requires a blood bank for the conservation of blood.
Blood donation is a major concern to the society as donated blood is lifesaving for individuals who need it. Most importantly, safe supply of blood and blood components is essential, to enable a wide range of critical care procedures to be carried out.
In this framework the NWRFHP- PIG assisted through an MOU with the Santa District Hospital for the installation of a solar energy powered blood bank with objective to contribute in improving emergency obstetric care to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. The installation of a pilot blood bank took place in March 2020 at the Santa District Hospital with technical and financial assistance of the NWRFHP. The total assistance/support amounted to 1,865,000frs (one million eight hundred and sixty-five thousand frs CFA) used for the purchase of materials and equipment needed for the blood bank. The blood bank went operational on the 22nd of March 2020 and is one of the lifesaving services for patients with focus on pregnant women.
- Major activities carried out by the NWRFHP, PIG were as follows
- Capacity building of 2 lab technicians on proper screening, blood storage, proper documentation and management of donor information with the assistance of the Regional hospital laboratory.
- Repair of space provided by the Santa District Hospital.
- Provision of material and equipment as on the table below;
|S/N||Items/Description||Quantity||Unit Cost(FCFA)||Total Cost (FCFA)|
|1.||Blood storage refrigerator||01||200,000||200,000|
|2.||Blood donor chair||01||70,000||70,000|
|3.||Cupboard and fridge stand||01||30,000||30,000|
|Sub total 1.||300,000|
|5.||Roof and ceiling||/||16,000|
|Sub total 2.||436,000|
|8.||Solar panel, 250W||03||130,000||390,000|
|9.||Stabilizer /inverter 500W||01||140,000||140,000|
|10.||Solar battery 12V, 150A||02||185,000||370,000|
|11.||Charge controller, MPPT 40A||01||90,000||90,000|
|12.||Solar rooftop stand||01||30,000||30,000|
|13||Hiring of electrical engineer for installation||01||100,000|
|Sub total 3.||1,120,000|
- Responsibilities of the Santa District Hospital
- Requested for the installation of a blood bank by NWRFHP.
- Provided space for the installation of a blood bank in the health facility.
- Provided all the screening materials like test kits and reagents for proper screening and collection of blood.
- Provided all tools/logistics needed for the management of a blood bank in the health facility.
- Provided staff to be trained on the management of a blood bank (lab technicians
A section of the Laboratory was offered by the Hospital to be used as the Blood bank. This section had 2 rooms. The two rooms were renovated by the NWRFHP, PIG and equipped with a blood donor chair, blood bank refrigerator, solar panels etc. After the installation of the solar energy powered blood bank, two laboratory staffs were trained on the functioning and management of the blood bank so as to enable them manage their blood bank properly.
After the training, the blood bank was then handed over to the Santa District Hospital. this was in the month of March.
- Salient Results
By September 2020, the number of blood pints in the blood bank was at 85 unlike 75 and 77 in the years 2018 and 2019 respectively. The number of blood transfusions carried out went up to 80 unlike 68 and 71 in the years 2018 and 2019. The number of persons transfused was at 69 unlike 51 and 40 in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Equally, the health facility net income from blood transfusions was already at 696,000frs CFA in the month of September unlike 800,400 frs CFA and 861,300frs CFA as at December in the years 2018 and 2019 respectively.
There has been a notable increase in the health facility utilization since the existence of the blood bank. Even though there are still much difficulties in getting voluntary donors from the communities, efforts are being made towards that direction. The blood bank has been very functional, helpful and useful to the community and to the Santa District hospital in terms of health care and income. This is an example for other Health Facilities to copy.