Fondation Pierre Fabre

Develop and effectively implement an open source Blood Safety Information System in low resource settings

Main beneficiary countries:
Ethiopia - Ghana - Lesotho - Cameroon - Zambia - South Sudan

About the sponsor

Jembi Health Systems NPC

Jembi is an African non-profit organisation registered in South Africa with country offices in Mozambique, Rwanda and Zambia. Jembi was established in 2009 by Dr Chris Seebregts and has rapidly become one of the leading specialist in health information systems in Africa. Our mission is to advance global health by developing and implementing sustainable information systems, growing partnerships and building local capacity with focus on developing countries. We do this by working with public and private sectors partners to develop and improve quality digital health solutions. Our core competencies include: needs assessment and requirements gathering, system design and solution architecture, software development, implementation and capacity building, and monitoring and evaluation. Jembi Technology Division houses over 30 software developers, analysts and product owners, using cutting-edge software engineering methods to develop software and HIS consistent with international standards. We act as ethical mediators, develop software, analyse and re-engineer health systems and undertake research on the application of HISs in developing countries. We are committed to independence and impartiality, and the utilization of good practices in the digital health domain.

Sector: Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Country of origin: South Africa

Contact the sponsor

The organisation has:

Full-Time Equivalent
Service provider

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Mother and child health
  • Emergency services
  • Blood safety

Stage of development:

  • Routine project/operational

Area where initiative is utilised

  • International (in several countries)

Initiative start date

  • 04/01/2013


Financing method

  • Government agency (i.e AFD, USAID, etc.)

Economic model(s)

  • paid Implementation Support Packages

About the initiative

There is a severe lack of safe blood in Sub-Saharan Africa, caused by a combination of weak voluntary donor recruitment strategies, testing and component production processes and information management. The implementation of BSIS at low resource blood centres both improves information management and facilitates the adoption of good practices in donor and donation management, in line with the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) accreditation requirements and recommended international good practice. BSIS also ensures that only labelled blood units that have passed all good practice safety criteria can be issued to health facilities for transfusion.

BSIS is open source and doesn’t carry with it a costly annual license fee; high cost and vendor lock-in are a large reason why current proprietary systems are not used in low resource settings. BSIS is also designed to be fit-for-purpose for low resource settings and focuses on enabling blood services to follow basic good practice work/information flows. Jembi's implementation strategy also focuses on safe and sustainable implementation. Building local capacity to use, manage and maintain BSIS without extensive external support from service providers in the long term.

Safe blood for transfusion is categorized as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to whom about 800 maternal deaths per day could be prevented if safe blood was available for transfusions. Safe blood is also used to treat cases of childhood malaria, trauma and save lives during operations. BSIS is an open source information system designed to manage donor and donation information from the point of donor registration to donation collection, through to laboratory testing, component processing and labelling, storage, and distribution to hospitals and clinics. The BSIS tool is primarily targeted for deployment in resource-limited countries and supports the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) 3 step certification and accreditation process and recommended international good practice. The implementation process Jembi has designed for the implementation of BSIS follows the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) guidelines for safe implementation of technologies within blood services as well as focusing on building local capacity within the blood services to use, manage and maintain BSIS locally.

Field report of the initiative

Fields of application:

Health professional training - Health information systems for Blood Safety

Target audience

  • Healthcare professionals and structures (hospitals, healthcare centres/clinics, health networks)
  • Entire population

Initiative objectives

  • Decreased mortality
  • Decreased morbidity
  • Improved treatment
  • Safe Blood (WHO essential medicine)

Key figures

63670 Number of beneficiaries since launch

79 Number of users per Week

Materials used

  • Computer
  • Zebra label printers; hand held barcode scanners

Technologies used

  • NC
  • Local Area Network (LAN); Wide Area Network (WAN)

Offline use


Open Source


Open Data


Independent evaluation



American Association of Blood Banks (AABB)

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Safe Blood for Africa (SBFA)

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT)

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.