On the 4th of May I had a meeting with Agness Zimba, the data clerk of the Zambian National Blood Transfusion Services (ZNBTS) to talk about her experience with the Blood donor tracking system.
This project started in July 2008 and will develop and implement a computer based Blood Donor Tracking System. This system is developed for the staff of the Zambian Blood Transfusion Services (ZBTS) and will reduce the risks of incorrectly identifying donors and blood units. Repeat donors can effectively be tracked and a reliable pool of regular repeat blood donors is established. It ensures blood safety through accurate labelling and identification of blood units at every stage. The database will be developed with open source software (software without licence costs). More than 17,000 blood donators and patients in need of a blood transfusion benefit from the Blood Donor Tracking System.
In Zambia blood is collected differently than in the Netherlands. Most blood is collected during mobile field trips to for example schools or community gatherings. People need to be counselled before they provide blood in the field. They fill in forms and it is unclear if they have given blood in the past or not and if they have a higher risk profile. With this system the donor and his/her can now be traced from giving blood until the blood is received by another patient.
Agness demonstrates how it works after the forms have reached her, when she is doing the data entry of all information.