As the world marks another World Blood Donor Day on June 14, a day set aside to create global sensitisation on the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion as well as the vital contribution which voluntary blood donors make to the health systems of their countries, the founder of Jela’s Development Initiatives(JDI), a nongovernmental organisation, Angela Ochu-Baiye has urged Nigerians to adopt J Blood Match, an Artificial Intelligence powered platform which seamlessly connects unpaid blood donors with those in need of blood to survive.
Ochu-baiye gave the charge on the sidelines of blood donation sensitisation activities organised by JDI for this year’s World Blood Donor Day, WBDD. She said J Blood Match, launched on November 21, 2019, by JDI, is an effective platform that easily connects those in need of blood with voluntary, unpaid donors at no cost.
With this AI system, the NGO is innovatively building a strong blood donor network that is accessible through platforms such as Facebook and Telegram. “The AI processes requests from recipients in government verified hospitals. It’s free. All you need do is to access it on the Facebook or Telegram apps and register”, she stated.
On this year’s WBDD, the Mandela Washington Fellow asserted: “Beyond being a civic duty for me, blood donation requires a heart for humanity. An understanding that donating a unit of blood from your body, which you have now but would deplete in three months because fresh blood cells are generated from your system, is essentially for me not losing our humanity.
“More so, donating blood means that you are keeping your true blood sister or brother’s heart beating because they stay alive and as a result of your donation, their heart beats on.
“We are all connected irrespective of our locations and when we allow J blood Match connect us to our blood sisters or brothers in need, we are fulfilling our civic duty and in turn keeping the world beating”.
Calling for support and partnerships with relevant stakeholders in the health sector for extensive awareness campaign for the system, Ochu-Baiye hinted that she plans to expand the application of J Blood Match AI to other neighbouring African nations but wants it to gain popular adoption in Nigeria first.
The J Blood Match AI is integrated into Facebook and Telegram and uses Artificial Intelligence to collect donor data such as gender, location, age, contact and blood group, which now make up the donor profile. When one is in need of blood, you simply go to the platform, register with the same data, including the needed blood group, to build a profile. The AI then scans through the system and finds a match who is closest to you, depending on available donor data.
The slogan for this year’s World Blood Donor Day is “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives”, and it is targeted at drawing attention to the roles that unpaid, voluntary blood donations play in saving lives and enhancing solidarity within communities.