Section: Long-term
Support: Assistance Capital: Physical Implementer: Lebanese Red Cross Funder: Not provided
Concept

Existing blood services have been expanded to support the needs of incoming migrants. As a result, in emergency situations, where blood is needed, the lives of migrants can be protected.

Case study

The Lebanese Red Cross is an important provider of blood products in Lebanon. Twelve blood banks exist across the country and provide non- discriminatory services to all in need, including migrants. The Lebanese Red Cross blood transfusion centres are well equipped. For example, the Spears centre is fitted with an irradiator (although some instruments are still needed). The Lebanese Red Cross is also working hard to follow the safety and security standards decided by the WHO and the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health to ensure the safety of blood. Any individual in need of blood is eligible to call the nearest Lebanese Red Cross blood transfusion centre to have their blood needs met. Given the significant population increase after the arrival of an estimated 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon (with a national population of over four million), the Lebanese Red Cross has been increasing its blood bank capacity. This has been sought through an increase in campaigns that seek to engage more blood donors.

Other examples
Assessment of impact and reach

In 2015, blood banks supported 23,864 people, of which 5,119 were Syrian migrants. The Lebanese Red Cross supports 15 per cent of national needs for blood components.

Cost per beneficiary
$40-80
Alignment with policy

Design. [P1] Focuses on meeting vulnerability of people in need of blood, including migrants.

Implementation. [P2] Integrates migrants in humanitarian programming.

Challenges
  • The increased demand due to the surge of migrants has put a strain on staff, maintenance, and availability of blood products.
  • Ensuring sufficient financial resources to provide the necessary blood products. The surge in demand has been coupled with a new regulation from the Ministry of Public Health which requires use of blood bags with integrated leukocyte reduction filters. The cost of a blood bag has, as a result, increased from 5 to 17 US dollars.
Lessons learned
  • It is important to plan for contingencies.