SOCIETY

BUSINESS: 338 PRACTICES


TOPIC: Initiatives on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Initiative

Health Protection of Blood Donors & Voluntary Blood Donor Associations

Health Protection of Blood Donors & Voluntary Blood Donor Associations
SUBMITTED FROM:

ALLIANZ



Objective Action

The program was designed and implemented to respond to the emergency conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which require that Greek society be protected from the virus, but also to address the huge shortage of blood that is an indirect impact of the pandemic and the in turn endangers human lives.

 

Target Audience

The beneficiaries of the program were:
• Candidate volunteer blood donors (men - women aged 18 - 65 years) who came to donate blood. Following a scheduled check-up, the Blood Donation Service either approved the blood donation of the voluntary blood donors or rejected it due to health problems.
• Staff of blood donation centers of associations - members of P.O.S.E.A. (Panhellenic Federation of Voluntary Blood Donors Associations) who experienced significant shortages of medical supplies due to increased demand during Covid-19.
• Members of blood donation associations collaborating with the Federation that have planned extraordinary voluntary blood donations in order to contribute to the collection of blood units.
Number of beneficiaries
Men (18 - 65 years old): 40,300
Women (18 - 65 years old): 21,700
Total: 62,000

 

Duration

Approximately 7 months


Description

Blood collection due to the coronavirus pandemic has decreased dramatically, a reduction that reached 40% in the blood units collected in March 2020, according to the National Blood Donation Center. The main reasons for the decrease were the fear of blood donors coming to hospitals during the pandemic and the postponement of scheduled blood sampling in hospitals. At the same time, the needs of specific groups of the population, such as those suffering from Mediterranean anemia and hematologic oncology patients, continued, while the number of regularly transfused patients is estimated at 2,200, who need about 120,000 units of blood per year.
The Panhellenic Federation of Voluntary Blood Donors Associations (POSEA) and its Associations - Members, since the beginning of the great health crisis that our country is facing, sided with the State in order to ensure sufficient blood for balancing the needs of the National Health System.
The P.O.S.E.A. and its Associations - Members, already from the beginning of the health crisis began to carry out throughout Greece a series of Voluntary Blood Donations outside the Hospitals, in collaboration with the Regional authorities, Municipalities, Bodies and Organizations of each region and the National Blood Tank began to fill in the gaps due to the above reasons.
In this endeavor, it was absolutely crucial that the precautionary measures for both the blood donation medical staff and the blood donors be taken, so that both are safe and the blood donors feel safe to continue the blood supply that the country needed.
Based on the health instructions of EODY for safe voluntary blood donation, P.OS.E.A. announced its need for sanitary material for its 61 member associations throughout Greece.
Thanks to the Allianz donation and in collaboration with the Bodossaki Foundation, the implementation of the program and the support of the beneficiaries with sanitary material started on May 11, 2020 and continued until the sanitary material was out of stock.
The sanitary material that has been procured until today by P.O.S.E.A. is the following:
• 62,000 face masks
• 432 packages of 500 ml antiseptic
• 61 thermometers
The material was distributed by post to the 61 Associations - Members of the Federation throughout the country. The shipments of the medical equipment were made on the basis of the planned blood sampling, while additional shipments were made in case of emergency voluntary blood donations.
The main goal of the program was to organize safe blood donations and to ensure a sense of security to the voluntary blood donors with the ambition of having a steady flow of blood units and to ensure the balance of the National Health System.

In addition to Allianz's corporate responsibility initiatives to strengthen the protective shield against Covid-19, the specificity of this action was that it addressed an indirect impact of the pandemic to protect the vulnerable group of patients in need of blood.


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Impact on Society

With the support of Allianz, all the medical supplies deemed necessary (nitrile gloves, antiseptics, face masks, thermometers) were provided, in order to create a nationwide safety shield for the Volunteer Blood Donors, members of the Voluntary Blood Donors Associations of the P.O.S.E.A., as well as for the staff of the collaborating Blood Donation Services of the hospitals, which participated in the effort to deal with the huge problem of lack of blood in our country during the COVID-19 crisis.
This offer motivated the Voluntary Blood Donors Associations, because in addition to the ability of organizing safe blood donations, the Associations felt for the first time that they do not fight alone, a feeling that gave them moral satisfaction, motivation and strength to continue the fight for the common good.
During the voluntary blood donation activities carried out using the above material, the Associations - Members of POSEA managed to secure 17,188 units of blood for our fellow citizens who need it.



Initiative Location

Nationwide


Working with Organization

To enhance the social impact of its activity, Allianz Greece joined forces with an organization recognized for its social work, the Bodossaki Foundation.
The Bodosaki Foundation is one of the most important public benefit institutions in the country with a long course of responsibility and multifaceted action. With a deep knowledge of social needs throughout Greece, the Bodossaki Foundation today acts as a catalyst for creating a broader contribution to Greek society, managing the resources of third parties - companies, bearers, international organizations and other large donors - who want to fund significant social programs. impact on critical needs in education, health and environment.


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Workers Participation

Every year Allianz Greece carries out a voluntary blood donation in its Head offices in which the company's workforce participates very actively. Unfortunately in 2020, due to pandemic restrictions, the voluntary blood donation of Allianz employees did not take place. However, with the action of the company which was "embraced" by the staff, all employees had the opportunity to feel that they are contributing, even indirectly, this year as well to the empowerment of voluntary blood donation and the enhancement of blood banks in our country.


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Benefits for Οrganization

The Allianz-funded program is a positive example of how institutions, companies and foundations can join forces and carry out joint actions of significant social impact in times of major health crises.
For Allianz in particular, it served as a vehicle for highlighting its commitment to vulnerable groups in the Greek society. Listening to the social needs during the critical period of the pandemic, Allianz immediately strengthened the action of important organizations and bodies that through their work have proven to reduce the negative effects of COVID-19, especially on vulnerable groups of the population.
The program to support voluntary blood donation during the pandemic had a particularly positive response from the company's people, thus strengthening the social face of Allianz as an employer and as an active member of the social environment in which it operates.




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