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Research project

Digital innovation and online health to support blood donation programmes in the Ghana Health Service

Project overview

WSI Pilot ProjectThe blood donor system in Ghana is overseen by the National Blood Service (NBS) ( The NBS operationally has donor recruitment officers and volunteers in the field, nurses in blood collection centres and laboratory staff collecting blood safely from voluntary donors. The nearest blood bank to Hohoe is Accra (capital city), which is a 4-5 hour drive often on poor quality roads. Blood request is made to the blood banks and any supply is dependent upon availability of that blood type. Within Hohoe  major challenges include unwillingness of community members to donate blood, lack of incentives for donors, lack of donation equipment and lack of funding for blood donation promotion. This leads to regular blood shortages in the blood bank. In the cases where the blood bank does not have the requested blood (often the case), the burden falls on the patient or families to identify a suitable donor. The nearest tertiary hospitals periodically organize blood donation exercise to restock the Hohoe municipal hospital blood bank. The Ghana Ministry of Health is developing revised research strategies for 2023 publication. Revised priorities will include disruptive digital innovation. Ghana, like many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa will need support to meet Universal Health Coverage (UHC)2 and Sustainable Development Goal targets.3 Ghana can leverage on digital health innovations as a catalyst to deliver UHC targets and broader social and economic development goals.  The aim for this app would be to develop a system that runs along the routine donation programme. It would not be used to inform clinical practice (for example, respondents will have blood type tested on arrival at the hospital).


Lead researcher

Dr Markus Brede

Associate Professor
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Other researchers

Dr Michael Head

Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

  • - Health needs of vulnerable populations e.g. refugee and rural healthcare
  • - Vaccine hesitancy in Ghana and Togo
  • - Impact of climate change upon health
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Professor Pathik Pathak

Professorial Fellow-Enterprise

Research interests

  • Antiracism
  • community development
  • critical race theory 
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Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs