Kenya requires at least 1,000,000 units of blood per year for a healthy society as per the Ministry of Health 2019. However, recent blood donations shortages have caused complications in hospitals as doctors and nurses administer care.
Witnessing this situation, Zipporah Iregi; a nurse from Kenya, started 'Campus Convoy,’ a blood donation campaign and life mentorship program for nursing students in Kenyan universities. Zipporah is a GPW Leadership Academy (GPWLA) graduate and was awarded with the Global Women Dream (GWD) grant from GPW and Service for Peace Korea to implement the project. She reached 450 nursing students from three universities over 5 months from Feb to June in 2021.
Through the project, Zipporah raised awareness of the blood shortage in the country across three regions in Kenya: Chuka University in Chuka, Kenya Medical Training College in Kitui and Best Meridian Conference Centre in Nairobi. Nursing aspirants learned about the mandate by the Kenyan National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) to collect, test, process and distribute blood and blood products to all hospitals in Kenya. Additionally, she mentored the nursing students to become better nurses and provide quality care.
As a youth initiative, Zipporah’s project featured a rally for blood donation in each of the three regions of Kenya. Zipporah partnered with many organizations: the National Nurses Association, Africa Novice Nurses and Student Initiative, Women Students Welfare Association and Dental Students Association of Kenya. With strong partnership for the project, Zipporah and the team were able to cultivate a culture of regular blood donation among Kenyan nursing students and overcome the cliche that blood is only to be given during emergencies.
Zipporah believes that the project will not only raise awareness in the importance of blood drives but also on the important role nurses play in caregiving and saving lives. She reflected, “The project helped promote healthy behaviour among Kenyans to step in and help fellow citizens as One Family Under God.”
By the end of the project, the project participants saw a 50% increase in confidence of nursing practice and teachings on blood donation. 300 new members were enlisted in the Kenyan Nursing Association for further mentorship. Additionally, the project also resulted in voluntary and regular blood donation at least two times each year by nursing students. The project ends in November and Zipporah hopes to enlist more regular blood donors to the program.
Zipporah’s drive and initiative to address the shortage of blood and increase quality health care to patients is praiseworthy. GPW and its partners are proud to have supported her and her project to create a positive impact in the Kenyan community. GPW looks forward to advancing women leadership and empowering service minded women leaders as Zipporah.
If you would like to know more about GWD Grant, please check our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GPWInternational for announcements. Global Peace Women International announces open call for the Global Women Dream (GWD) grant proposals twice a year (March & September).