SUPPORTING THE BLOOD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN UKRAINE
In Germany and other European countries, donated blood and blood products are often just enough to cover the needs, but the act of donating blood never receives much attention in general. In Ukraine, however, and since the start of the full-scale war in February 2022, blood donation has become an act of supporting national security.
A recent campaign developed under these circumstances by our EU-funded project "Support to Ukraine for Developing a Modern Public Health System" is called "Your blood can fight. Become a donor." Its central narrative is a mural on the gate of a shelled house in the center of Kharkiv.
The artist Hamlet Zinkivskyi created it after donating blood for the front. The artist granted the right to use his work for the project's campaign, hoping that it would inspire others to donate. A follow-up campaign reached more than one million views on Facebook*.
Since 2019, GFA has been supporting the establishment of the Ukrainian blood management system. Our team of national and international experts is working from Kyiv and abroad to support the Ministry of Health and the Ukrainian Center for Transplant Coordination (UTCC) in their efforts to not only keep the system operational, but to get it ready for EU accession. Our activities include
- Structural reforms: A key facet is the restructuring of the blood system´s infrastructure in Ukraine and ensuring its operational capability. Initiatives include the establishment of the national blood center, a competent regulatory authority, and an advisory committee. Additionally, we are also working on devising an optimal model for blood service delivery.
- Legal developments: We are actively involved in the alignment of the Ukrainian blood system with relevant EU directives. In particular, our experts contributed significantly to the development of the "Law of Ukraine on Blood Safety" in September 2020, and continue to be involved in the formulation and revision of accompanying regulations.
- Operational improvements: The war has also provided a major boost to the full digitization of the blood management IT system, which our team is actively supporting. It includes elements for blood donation and management (electronic donor registry, planning and mobilization).
*And after that a second follow-up campaign saying „Thank you“ started on Facebook.