The United States government has assisted the opening of a $5 million national blood bank in Ethiopia.
On Saturday United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Sean Jones and State Minister of Health Saharla Abdulahi officially inaugurated the new National Blood Bank Services headquarters building..
The new facility will provide the National Blood Bank Services with the capacity to receive a much-increased volume of blood donations, screen and process blood products more efficiently, and distribute life-saving blood to health centers and patients throughout the country.
Through USAID and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States has invested $65 million towards building and improving health facilities in Ethiopia over the past five years.
In addition to the new blood bank, the project has built a total of 22 new health centers and 10 pharmaceutical warehouses, and renovated another 10 existing health centers. These infrastructure projects complement the broader investments and long-standing partnership between the United States and Ethiopia to strengthen the national health system and improve the quality of care.
The inauguration of the National Blood Bank Services facility also coincided with the start of the Ministry of Health’s national blood donation campaign, which aims to register 100,000 new blood donors and collect 10,000 units of blood.
The United States is the largest bilateral provider of support to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately $150 million per year in funding for HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal and child health; nutrition; tuberculosis; and water, sanitation and hygiene. Overall, the United States has provided approximately $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.