A nonprofit organisation, Jela’s Development Initiatives, JDI, has officially launched a software application, J Blood Match, to address the shortfall in unpaid blood donation in Nigeria.
J Blood Match app, which seamlessly connects unpaid blood donors with those in need of blood to survive, was unveiled on Thursday, February 9, 2023, at Transcorp Hotel, Abuja.
The launch, attended by well-meaning Nigerians, including Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace, as well as other key actors in the health and social impact space, was another opportunity for stakeholders to cast a searchlight on the need for voluntary, unpaid blood donation in Nigeria.
Founder of JDI, Angela Ochu-Baiye, and Solution Architect of J Blood Match in her opening remarks, expressed delight over the launch and said the free service was initially created in November, 2019 as an artificial intelligence on Telegram and had gained fair popularity in the FCT but hoped that the app launch would help increase the nationwide adoption of the solution.
“With J Blood Match, JDI is innovatively building a strong blood donor network across the country and our hope is that every registered donor accepts the blood donation requests when they come in so they can save their blood sisters or blood brothers.
“I must thank everyone that attended the launch today, especially our supporters Air Peace Limited, The Mandela Washington Fellowship, Inspired by Jela, Emergent Labs, Jireh Multimedia, the Art of ED Studios, Creativitiyk Veedia, Big Mo, Giphics, Stunz Visuals and Transcorp Hilton Hotels. We strongly believe J Blood Match will get widespread adoption and fruitfully engage the interest of all Nigerians who do not want to see anyone ever bleed out due to the unavailability of blood.”
“We also plan to expand the application of J Blood Match to other West African countries while we reiterate our commitment to rewriting the voluntary blood donation narrative in Nigeria”, Ochu-Baiye stressed.
The Founder of Emergent Labs, Emeka Mba, who developed the blood donation platform, emphasised its innovativeness and how it can help improve the voluntary blood donation culture of Nigerians.
Explaining how J Blood Match works, Mba said: “The platform is so easy to use as you only have to visit www.jbloodmatch.org and create a profile as a blood donor by putting in your phone number, gender, location, age and blood group.
“Afterwards, when a blood donation request that matches your location and blood type is made, you receive a notification in your email, encouraging you to accept the request. ”
Chairman, Air Peace, Allen Onyema, who delivered the keynote address, commended JDI for developing the novel platform and assured the nonprofit of Air Peace’s support, adding that the solution will help change the unfavourable disposition of some Nigerians towards blood donation. Onyema further called on other individuals and organisations to throw their weight behind JDI in its campaign to close the gaps in voluntary blood donation in Nigeria.
Statistics from the World Health Organisation, WHO, have shown that Nigeria needs an average of 1.8 million pints of blood annually to keep the health of her people safe and sound.
But unfortunately, the National Blood Service Commission, NBSC, said it collects only 500,000 pints of blood every year with a shortfall of about 73.3 percent. The agency also revealed that only about 25,000 blood units sourced from voluntary unpaid blood donors were collected in 2019 and 2020.