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UK Diaspora Passing the Baton: Mobile Blood Collection Unit for Jamaica – catalyst for community engagement and involvement

The UK Diaspora gift of a mobile blood collection unit to the Blood Bank in Jamaica has become a catalyst for health policy integration, investment and cross –sectoral co-operation.

The ONE LOVE, ONE BLOOD, SAVES LIVES blood donor campaign in Jamaica has been translated to the UK through RAFFA’s innovative partnership with NHS Blood & Transplant who aim to recruit 7,000 Jamaicans and Caribbean people to their donor register over the next 5 years. This is the first ever campaign that involves UK Diaspora and Jamaica-based private, professional and civic organisations.

Rudi Page, CEO, RAFFA Blood for Life Programme 2015-2017, said “ We are extremely pleased that the Prime Minister of Jamaica has focussed on under-served communities, as we are determined with our stakeholders to make a significant impact on Public Health and Maternal Health, Care & Education through the mobile blood collection units serving every neighbourhood across Jamaica.

Dr Fenton Ferguson said “The prime minister is deeply concerned about the under served areas and rural Jamaica, and so she has put in place a Rural Development Unit. We have a national blood transfusion service mobile unit to go across the island to collect blood”.

ONE LOVE ONE BLOOD SAVES LIVES UK campaign begins at a meeting hosted by Bev Bogle, President, KIWANIS Club of Brixton supported by London Clubs at , Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Rd, SW9 7PH, Wednesday 11th February 2015,8pm All Welcome.

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Launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent

“People of African Descent: recognition, justice and development”

United Nations (UN) organization has declared an “International Decade For People of African Descent” from 1st of January 2015 – 31st of December 2024.

RAFFA, aims to get involved with the programme of activities at both a national and international level through the olympic award-winning “Passing the Baton” programme designed to inspire peaceful, caring and enterprising neigbhourhoods.

RAFFA, involvement will focus on the following objectives:

  • To strengthen national, regional and international action and cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society;
  • To promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies


A Mobile Blood Collection Unit for Jamaica

Dr Dapo Odumero, Founder, Blood for Life and Rudi Page, CEO, RAFFA International Development Agency, celebrate the successful acquisition of a mobile blood collection unit from NHS Blood and Transplant, Manchester on Wednesday 26th June 2013.

The mobile blood collection unit (bloodmobile) was requested by Dr Angela Scott, Former Director, National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), at an evaluation meeting with Rudi Page during April 2011. RAFFA/Blood for Life had previously provided NBTS with a range of medical equipment including two Blood Bank freezers, platelet incubator and five opti-press machines.

The medical equipment was installed within the main processing department at the NBTS laboratory, and a the cross-match laboratory at Victoria Jubilee Hospital.
A wide range of Diaspora and Jamaica-based organisations with active support from Aloun Assamba, Jamaican High Commissioner UK, collaborated to ensure the mobile blood collection unit reached Jamaica and was successfully launched on Saturday 10th January 2015 to meet the needs of the Jamaican population.

The key stakeholders included RAFFA International Development Agency, Blood for Life, National Health Fund ( shipping & clearance costs) , Ministry of Health Jamaica, Angel Foundation(liaison), Grace Foods UK (storage), JLB International Shipping (launch), JNB( launch), Kiwanis Jamaica (launch) and Power106FM (launch).

RAFFA, has given a commitment to stay involved and join the Islandwide Blood Drive campaign ONE LOVE, ONE BLOOD, SAVES LIVES through the Olympic award-winning programme, “Passing the Baton” designed to inspire peaceful, caring and enterprising neighbourhoods.

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RAFFA supports NHS Blood and Transplant Donor Drive Passing the Baton to save Lives

Passing the Baton to SAVE LIVES

London Birmingham Manchester Bristol Leeds

RAFFA, will join the NHS Blood & Transplant campaign to recruit 7,000 donors from Jamaican and Caribbean communities across the UK. NHS Blood & Transplant need more donors from Jamaican and Caribbean communities to treat people who are suffering from sickle cell anaemia. There is a need to ensure blood supplies for emergency treatment of those with rare blood types, for example after road accidents or childbirth complications.

The ONE LOVE, ONE BLOOD, SAVES LIVES campaign aimed at Jamaican and Caribbean communities across the UK, will be officially launched at NHS Blood & Transplant Head Quarters, Bristol during May 2015. The reception will also provide the opportunity for Aloun Assamba, Jamaican High Commissioner to thank NHS Blood & Transplant for their partnership role with RAFFA Blood for Life programme in providing the National Blood Transfusion Services, Jamaica with Blood Bank freezers, platelet incubator, five optipress machines, five donor couches and most recently their first Mobile Blood Collection Unit.

Rudi Page, CEO, RAFFA, “We are pleased to be involved with this UK campaign aimed at Faith Communities and the wider public. This is the first time that a Diaspora-led International Development Health Programme has been able to provide support within the UK Health system, targeted at Jamaicans and Caribbean communities. Jamaica serves as a model for further International Health System Development towards an integrated Blood Transfusion Service that encompasses the Blood Bank, Regional Hospitals, Local Clinics with outreach to every neighbourhood through the Mobile Blood Collection Units”.

The award-winning Passing the Baton 2016 Olympic programme : celebrate, collaborate & make friends, has also adopted the Jamaican inspired, ONE LOVE, ONE BLOOD, SAVES LIVES theme for neighbourhood based activities towards RIO 2016.

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RAFFA and Angel Foundation UK Working Together for Jamaica

RAFFA, “Passing the Baton” acknowledges the role of Angel Foundation UK, as stakeholders together by liaising with Dr Fenton Ferguson, Minister of Health and staff of the Ministry of Health Jamaica to ensure the successful delivery of the Mobile Blood Collection Unit for the benefit of the people of Jamaica.


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