A blood-bank
for the Nord-Kivu region

Dear Donors and Friends,

This year, we again kindly ask you for a donation for the medical care in the Eastern regions of the Democratic Republic Congo. The construction of the first blood-bank in the Nord-Kivu region, which was enabled by you, is almost complete.

This large undertaking needed especially thorough planning and preparation. This time, the majority of the complex technical equipment could not be covered by second-hand donations. It was necessary to buy much of the expensive equipment brand-new. A large donation from the St-Ursula Grammar School, Düsseldorf was instrumental in making this possible. Amongst other things, it was necessary to acquire a special refrigerator that could store up to 200 units of blood. Containers for overland transport, quality-control and blood typing tests for the donated blood were also needed.

In addition, we again gratefully received a large amount of second-hand lab and diagnostics equipment from hospitals and doctor’s surgeries, including an ultrasound and a transportable ECG from Dr. Rieke in Düsseldorf. We would also like to thank the St. Johannes Hospital in Sieglar for the donation of a substantial amount of second-hand analysis equipment. As early as October of this year, the complete shipment of material arrived at the Laboratory Bwako in Butembo.

Substantial logistical and financial support was again provided by the Marburg NGO, . Technical examinations and reconditioning of the second-hand equipment was again carried out by Terra TechTechnologie-Transfer Marburg (TTM).

Der Kühlschrank für die Blutkonserven

The Jeep Cherokee, courtesy of Cine of Wheels/Gerhard Willié

In order to implement blood donor campaigns and to deliver blood, the lab needs to be mobile.

It was of great importance, therefore, when the project was given a off-road vehicle. Our thanks go to the company, Cine of Wheels and Mr. Gerhard Willié, for the donation of a Jeep Cherokee, which is well-adapted to the rough terrain around Butembo.

In mid-December 2004, Georg Roloff travelled to Butembo, accompanied by Dr. Thomas Wolff, who oversaw the first blood donor campaign and trained the lab technicians to use the new equipment.

On the 22nd December, we celebrated the opening of the first blood-bank in the region, together with the Governor of Nord-Kivu and the Mayor of Butembo. We are proud and happy that this ambitious project has had a successful conclusion. A very special thanks goes to you, the donors, for your support.

In the next year, UDUMA plans to complete the technical facilities, especially the blood-bank, of the Laboratory Bwako. An important advance would be a refrigerated centrifuge that enables an easier and more rational preparation of the donated blood. We estimate the cost of this to be around €12,000 (£9,000).

Our appeal: Please help us once again with your donations, which greatly improve the medical care in Eastern Congo, one of the most structurally weak regions in the world.

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