PROJECT: Improving voluntary blood donation programme in Montenegro
The goal of the project is to raise awareness on voluntary blood donation (VBD) in Montenegro, which would contribute to the increase in the number of voluntary blood donors, as well as to the improvement of their structure.
The number of voluntary blood donors in Montenegro is about 2.50% of the total population, which is not enough to ensure safe amount of blood. Recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) are that the percentage should be around 4%. What worries us additionally is the structure of voluntary blood donors in Montenegro. A large number (75%) donate blood only for a family member or a friend, and they fall into category of so-called “family donors”. The main aspiration is that blood donation is on a completely voluntary basis. Not all the categories of population are equally present among the donors. There are a very small number of women, young persons, and population from the rural areas. Such state clearly identified target groups of the project.
Results we wish to achieve with this project are:
General public is better informed about VBD, which will lead to awareness raising about the significance of reaching the level of having safe amounts of blood;
Cooperation between the relevant institutions in this field is improved – only with the joint efforts can we affect change of attitude in public and better organization in VBD field;
Capacities of Montenegro Red Cross are strengthened for action in educative-motivational work. Red Cross must have strong human resources that could implement educative-motivational activities in the area of VBD.
As the general problem in Montenegro is a small number of voluntary blood donors, some activities will be intended for the public, while special activities will be developed for those target groups that are less present in the structure of the blood donors. Therefore, planned project activities are the following ones:
In order to introduce voluntary blood donation to the public, posters and brochures will be created and distributed to the citizens in all Montenegrin municipalities. Promotion video will also be created, and its goal will be to raise special interest in the significance of VBD – for that purpose, video would feature a celebrity, as a promoter of this programme in Montenegro. We also planned lectures and grandstands about the significance of VBD that are intended primarily for youth in high schools and at the universities. A pilot activity is planned with the children in one primary school – competition in 5th and 6th grade classes who will bring more parents to donate blood. This activity will be implemented alongside mass action of blood donation that is also planned in the project. The goal is to break the prejudice about blood donation among citizens and invite them to participate in the action.
Voluntary blood donation in Montenegro cannot be improved without active participation of all the relevant subjects. That is why we planned to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the institutions important in for this field, which would formalize the cooperation and ensure implementation of important activities in VBD. Coordinating board for voluntary blood donation acts within Montenegro Red Cross. This project plans regular meetings of the Board, in order to better organize VBD field, and initiate adoption of significant documents that would regulate the activities in VBD in Montenegro. As the role of media is very significant in this area as well, we planned signing a MoU with several local and national media houses, thus ensuring continuous following of the activities in VBD field.
Montenegro Red Cross must strengthen its capacities as well, in order to perform their educative-motivational work in this area in a better way. It primarily means creating a strong base of motivators for VBD. The project plans educations for motivators for the representatives of all local Red Cross branches. In order to improve this area even more, we planned creation of the Manual for the motivators in voluntary blood donation.
The beneficiary of the project is entire Montenegrin public, age 18 – 65. The project will focus especially on the youth – high school and university students.
Programme implementation is planned in all Montenegrin municipalities, through the network of local Red Cross branches.
Implementation period is September 2011 – September 2012.
Project is supported by Spanish Red Cross.