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A start-up is raising hope for blood shortages in Senegal

Senegal’s club of techpreneurs is showing increasing capacity to deal with everyday issues. One of the many has developed an application to manage the rising incidence of blood scarcity in the tiny West African country

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Senegal’s club of techpreneurs is showing increasing capacity to deal with everyday issues. One of the many has developed an application to manage the rising incidence of blood scarcity in the tiny West African country.

An interface called Hope is saving lives by offering a solution to blood shortages in Senegal.

“Hope is a Web-based and mobile digital platform that allows blood banks and other healthcare facilities to manage blood stocks and to communicate interactively at any time with blood donors, while raising awareness of the importance of giving blood,” said Cameroonian engineer Evelyne Ines Ntonga.

She is the co-founder of Diambars Mobiles, a start-up that launched Hope, with Mr Jean Luc Semedo of Senegal.

Both are alumni of the Multinational Telecommunications School of Dakar.

The engineers have created a form of ongoing interaction between blood banks and donors.

The platform includes a mobile app that allows users to send text messages and conduct voice calls in a variety of local languages so that Hope can reach more people.

Families and healthcare facilities often face a race against time when looking for a donor with a rare blood type.

“When an urgent situation arises, the platform sends emergency SMS messages to all compatible donors in the same geographical area,” Ms Ntonga said.

Hope is well-adapted to large healthcare facilities such as the National Centre for Blood Transfusion of Senegal, which hosted the pilot phase of the project for seven months in 2016.

“During this period, we reached nearly 30,000 people across all our platforms. What’s more, thanks to our solution, the number of blood donations in this centre has more than tripled,” said Ms Ntonga.

The start-up won the 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from mobile network operator Tigo and Swedish NGO Reach For Change. The innovation also received the Global South eHealth Observatory Award from the Pierre Fabre Foundation.

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Tanzanian Central Bank reduces economic liquidity to curb rising inflation

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The Tanzanian Central Bank on Saturday said one of the measures it has taken to slow down rising inflation in September and October is to reduce the liquidity in the economy.

A statement published by the east African country’s apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said inflation in the country has been on the rise since the beginning of the year, rising from 4.6% on August from a previous 4.5% in July.

MPC said while the country’s economy was facing a range of challenges, including weak global growth, high commodity prices, tight financial conditions and the recurrence of COVID-19 in some countries, it was necessary to reduce the liquidity to stabilise the economy.

“In the context of high inflation and commodity prices, which has contributed to rising inflationary pressures in the country, the MPC approved for the bank to continue with gradual reduction of liquidity in September and October 2022.

“The policy decision aims at reducing inflationary pressures, while safeguarding economic activities,” the statement said.

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Air traffic controllers in West, Central Africa suspend strike for negotiations after 48-hour disruption

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The industrial action by air traffic controllers in West and Central Africa has been suspended.

The unions announced the suspension after a 48-hour strike having disrupted flights across the region and left hundreds of passengers stranded at airports.

According to a statement by the Union of Air Traffic Controllers’ Unions (USYCAA), the decision to suspend its strike notice for 10 days immediately so as to allow for negotiations.

“Air traffic services will be provided in all air spaces and airports managed by ASECNA from today Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 1200 GMT,” the statement said.

One of the stranded passengers, Nsoh Brinston, lamented on how the strike would make him spend more than his budget on his intended travel to Kigali, Rwanda.

“I will have to spend more than I intended due to the cancelled flight. I will have to do another COVID test which costs 30,000 CFA francs ($45),” he said.’

Also, eight flights scheduled to leave the commercial hub of Abidjan on Saturday were cancelled in Ivory Coast.

Industries like aviationtelecom operators have all their operations disrupted across Africa lately largely as part of the fallout of the Russian/Ukraine war which has caused a hike in aviation fuel.

It is yet to be seen if the negotiations between air traffic controllers and government authorities will birth lasting solutions to the challenge which now cuts across the continent.

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