Amplifying Youth Voice as CoBA shocasing on what they are doing in terms of improving blood access

On June 19, 2024, the Coalition of Blood for Africa (CoBA) hosted a transformative youth symposium in Kenya, commemorating World Blood Donor Day and World Sickle Cell Day. This event brought together 87 young leaders from Kenya, with online contributions from youth in Nigeria and Tanzania, to address the critical issue of blood access in Africa.

 

The primary goal was to gather innovative ideas from emerging medical professionals, exploring fresh perspectives that could potentially uncover new solutions. By engaging with these young leaders, CoBA aimed to break away from conventional thinking and unearth concrete findings that could revolutionize blood access strategies in the region.

 

This symposium not only fostered cross-border collaboration among youth but also served as a platform to amplify their voices in shaping the future of healthcare. It underscored CoBA’s commitment to driving impactful change through inclusive dialogue and innovative thinking, paving the way for enhanced blood accessibility and healthcare equity across Africa.

 

Key Achievements:

  • Youth Engagement: 87 participants actively involved.
  • Cross-Country Participation: Contributions from youth in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
  • Expert Contributions: Presentations by F & S Scientific, Medexer, Redcross Tanzania Youth Council and Strathmore University.
  • Actionable Insights: Concrete strategies for enhancing blood donation rates and advocacy.
  • 5 higher learning Institutions from Kenya (Medical Students); University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Strathmore Universty, Egerton University , KIMTC

 

Impact Highlights:

  • Youth Perspectives: The symposium successfully gathered valuable insights from young people, emphasizing their role as change-makers in addressing blood access challenges.
  • Actionable Solutions: The discussions led to concrete suggestions on improving blood donation rates, enhancing policy advocacy, and fostering community engagement.
  • Empowerment: By involving youth directly, CoBA empowered the next generation to take an active role in improving blood access across Africa.

 

Future Steps:

The feedback and ideas generated during the symposium will guide CoBA’s future initiatives. We are committed to incorporating these insights to create more effective strategies for ensuring a sustainable and reliable blood supply in Africa. Moving forward, we aim to bring together youth from each country across the continent. By expanding our reach, we will increase awareness and develop innovative solutions. With these efforts, we anticipate a significant rise in blood donation rates, ultimately making access to blood a non-issue.