Prevent Patients From Dying in Blood Deserts

Target: Susan Wafula, Kenya Health Minister

Goal: Explore and invest in walking donor banks to address urgent blood shortages.

Severe drought, malaria, and youth pregnancies are among the many issues that have caused a high prevalence of anemia in one of Africa’s most prominent countries. The condition, which impacts oxygen levels in the blood, has led to an urgent need for blood transfusions in Kenya. Unfortunately, demand for blood is far outpacing supply.

As a consequence, many ailing individuals – including a large percentage of young mothers – are literally dying in these blood deserts. One major problem is that blood has to be rigorously screened due to the endemic nature of illnesses like HIV in Kenya. But centers equipped to properly screen blood in a prompt and efficient manner are few and far between. Some researchers are lobbying for walking donor banks: a process that enables pre-screened donors to arrive promptly on-site during emergencies and to be vetted quickly through rapid testing procedures. This process has held up strongly in clinical trials, but leaders are still skeptical.

Sign the petition below to urge investment in and adoption of an approach that could save lives.


Dear Minister Wafula,

Lodwar County’s busiest hospital runs out of blood roughly one-third of the time. The Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority faces an annual deficit of about 200,000 units of blood. And through it all, countless Kenyans lose their lives to preventable deaths. A pronounced lack of blood screening centers further deepens Kenya’s status as a blood desert.

Walking donor banks could provide an important infusion in every sense of the word, yet officials are reticent to use this approach because of concerns about its screening capabilities. At least one study in the aforementioned Lodwar County has demonstrated that this procedure matches Kenya’s national testing standards by over 99 percent. Please take a closer look at this model and fully utilize its potential to help mitigate one of the nation’s most pressing health crises.

Let Kenya lead the way in resolving the global epidemic of blood deserts.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Charlie Helen Robinson


  1. All over the globe, there are too many people. Blood donors and all the life saving facilities which need to be built and supported but it’s all due to too many people. We must used birth control!! We are close to 9 or 10 billion people on earth and earth can only care for ½ that many. In 1970 there were enough people for the earth to care for but in those days we ate real food, had clean produce, not pesticides and all manner of poisons everywhere we turned.Even plastic was a new source and not over used. As a child I ate ice cream out of a paper bowl with a wooden spoon and it was delicious. Today the earth is seeing the demand of people but not their appreciation that the earth has always taken care of them. What fools we are to demand money and kill our source of life.

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