I confess–I’d never given blood, until now.

I donated at the Harvester Hospital in Yei, South Sudan. I gave because women and their babies blogbloodafricadie frequently there due to the lack of a blood transfusion. In Yei it’s typical for a woman to give birth at home. They only come to the hospital when there is a serious problem and by then it’s usually too late.

For example, one woman was unaware she was pregnant with twins. She was home and gave birth to a child when she realized the placenta hadn’t followed the birth. It became apparent she had another baby still to be delivered. So she tried to find someone in her village with a vehicle to transport her to the hospital but there was no vehicle to be found. Four men build a make shift stretcher and walked her to the hospital. Seven hours later she arrived, too late to save her or the second baby. Meanwhile the baby birthed at home also died due to lack of nourishment in his early hours of life.

Women and babies die frequently in childbirth in South Sudan. The upsetting thing is many are unnecessary. One of the hospital workers shared how many women die because they need a blood transfusion but their families won’t give blood. Especially the husband, many men won’t give their blood to save their wife because her death makes a way for him to take another wife.

That’s when I decided I would give blood. My blood will keep a mother and/or baby alive this month. I left my blood in Africa to say to my African sisters, you count. Your life counts to me.

Check out previous article on my blog http://wp.me/p3xIqV-bj