About the Coalition of Blood for Africa

Working Towards a Better Tomorrow

Here at CoBA, we see the value in everyone. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since our beginnings in 2020, we’ve been driven by the same ideas we initially founded our organization upon support, empowerment, and progress. Learn more about our mission, our vision, and how we go about making the changes we want to see.

Blood is an indispensable component of any health care system in the world. The World Health Organization includes blood and blood components on its essential medicine list but very few countries across the African continent have prioritized blood supply in policy and health discussions. Globally, the demand for blood has outweighed its supply and the challenge is even greater in sub-Saharan Africa where access to the safe, adequate blood supply is low.

The highest proportion of blood in Africa is transfused to children with severe anemia resulting from malaria and malnutrition, followed by women with pregnancy-related bleeding and people injured in traffic accidents. All too often, blood is not available to meet these needs.

In 2019, Terumo Cell and Blood Technologies led a series of high-level discussions on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly to explore solutions to blood safety and maternal health issues in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). One of the outcomes was the formation of a working group to drive the agenda for adequate, safe, sustainable blood in SSA now referred to as the Coalition of Blood for Africa (CoBA).

CoBA was launched in 2020 with the goal of finding solutions to the perennial challenges of blood in the continent. The coalition brings together an unprecedented array of health experts, including public-sector research institutes, ministries of health, academia, not-for-profit research and development organizations, NGOs, international organizations, and private sector organizations all committed to one goal: access to safe, sustainable blood in Africa.

At CoBA, we want to be a catalyst for change. We can achieve this only when stakeholders come together to find solutions through dialogue, advocacy, research, and technical support.

CoBA Partners

Antoinette Gawin
President & CEO,
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies
“We are very proud to be a driving force and founding member of CoBA. Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular therapy technologies. We believe in the potential of blood and cells to do even more for the patients than it does today. We strongly support initiatives that work towards ensuring adequate, safe and sustainable blood supply in Africa and strategies that will reduce the transmission of infections through blood, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis, or treat diseases such as sickle cell disease and cancers.“
Dr. Amit Thakker
Executive Chairman,
Africa Health Business
“For many countries in Africa blood is either not available in the required quantities or not safe enough for transfusion. Africa Health Business (AHB) actively supports the CoBA initiative towards the safe and adequate supply of blood which is an essential component of any health system.“
Gavin Evans
Executive Director,
Global Blood Fund
“Global Blood Fund has supported blood banking in Africa since the founding of the charity in 2008. But achieving meaningful change in a continent of almost one-and-a-half billion people can feel like an overwhelming challenge. The CoBA coalition brings a focal point to all of us wanting to do our bit to ensure a plentiful, safe blood supply and end the needless transfusion-related loss of life that currently afflicts so many African communities. We are proud to partner with the many great individuals and organizations that make up the CoBA family.“
Richard Kiplagat
Group Director & Managing Director,
Africa Practice East Africa
“Blood is a fundamental component to the anatomy of humanity. Despite this important fact, access to safe, sustainable blood is still a major challenge affecting Africa. As the CoBA Secretariat, we are excited that the Coalition is a step in the right direction to address the blood agenda in the continent. We look forward to working together with all stakeholders across all sectors to collectively exchange ideas and find solutions to blood in Africa.“
Kenneth Macharia
Country Representative,
Options Consultancy Services Ltd
“The issue of blood is an important one that touches on the area of maternal health, an area we have built expertise through our health system strengthening work. We are committed to joining and working with likeminded organisations in developing sustainable solutions towards equitable access to blood across Africa.“
Mohammed Farouk
Managing Director,
Africa Society for Blood Transfusion
“The matching between AfSBT mission and CoBA objectives to promote the blood safety and availability in Africa, specifically in SSA, ignited the collaboration with CoBA. Coupling this with the multi-stakeholder, multi-pronged and innovative approaches of CoBA, made it for us the perfect way to have more positive impact to enable safe, universally accessible and sustainable national blood programmes in participating countries.“
Vikas Mehta
Ogilvy Africa
“Being able to use our skill-sets to support an initiative that saves lives, is humbling. We value the contribution CoBA aims to make to the continent and Ogilvy Africa is proud to be a partner in this initiative.“
Ash Rogers
Lwala Community Alliance
“There is an outrageous injustice when someone dies due to a lack of blood, so we are excited to be a part of this so that we can help ensure that no mother dies for that reason. Lwala brings expertise in scaling up health solutions and bridging the gap between communities and the formal health system. We bring a holistic health and want to work with each of the partners here to ensure that blood is part of health for all.“