A formal joint agreement between the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation (SBFA) and Canada-based Héma-Québec aims to provide better blood safety and donor programs in Africa to decrease the risk of transfusion-related transmission of HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-borne illnesses.

SBFA has supported blood safety and blood donor programs in the continent since 1999. Héma-Québec, a blood supplying company, began informally contributing to SBFA Blood Safety Initiatives in 2005 by recruiting blood donors, providing marketing assistance and experts in the field and helping SBFA extend safe blood donation and transfusion programs in multilingual African populations, particularly French-speaking ones.

“SBFA recognizes and appreciates what Héma-Québec has done to improve conditions and access to safe blood for the people of Africa,” Jeff Busch, chairman and CEO of SBFA, said in a September 8 statement. “By formalizing our already strong working relationship, together we can make even more of an impact, helping to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood for transfusion to more people throughout the continent.”