Life Stories: Blood Drives on the Palestinian West Bank

Good Health and Well-Being

Due to intense political and social volatility, the West Bank is subject to frequent outbreaks of violent conflict, along with the day to day emergencies which hospitals and the police respond to. There is no national blood bank to help responders treat victims and deliver the care they urgently need. Additionally, West Bank health institutions lack access to the technology that is required to store blood donations for long periods.

On top of this, prior to the service being launched, there was no culture or precedent for organising voluntary donations of blood. Indeed, during periods of religious observance such as Ramadan, some citizens were under the false impression that donating blood breaks the Holy fast.

This service was set up as a direct partnership between the Red Crescent, Souktel and West Bank hospitals. In order to communicate the urgent need for blood, the service co-opted existing infrastructure such as the muezzin in mosques, along with the police force to put out the call for donations into nearby communities.

Now the service administers a database of 15,000 donors which makes matching the right blood type to the victim, quicker and more efficient. These improvements are saving lives.

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