South Florida Launches Kids' World Blood Bank
March 20, 2002
Three Nobel Peace Prize winners came to South Florida on Monday to help launch a blood bank that will send thousands of units of safe blood each year to children in poor countries. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbechev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, and former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias joined former US Surgeon General David Satcher and blood bank officials to announce the establishment of the Children's World Blood Bank. The plan calls for individual blood banks to donate ten pints of blood a week to be distributed to needy youngsters overseas. Besides being in short supply, donated blood in underdeveloped countries is not adequately tested and can be contaminated with HIV or hepatitis. Blood transfusions are the cause of 40 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in children over age 1 worldwide, Satcher said. South Florida Blood Banks of Juno Beach founded the initiative along with the Association of Independent Blood Centers. It has recruited 13 other Florida and US blood centers that will ship the extra blood within 24 hours of donation.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.