GAP has a specialist post-disaster role outlined in its terms of reference for the provision of "coordination of assistance to National Red Cross or Red Crescent blood services in post emergency situations" and to "assist them in the rebuilding of their blood programme". This support includes immediate and short-term assistance as well as long term recovery effort and rebuilding support once the urgency of the immediate response has passed.
The recent experience of the devastating earthquake in Nepal demonstrated the active role that GAP has in this area, assisting the National Society to restore a functional and safe blood supply as soon as possible following the disaster and importantly in coordinating the long-term rebuilding and recovery of the blood programme once the initial urgency had passed, in conjunction with the support of Partner National Societies.
The earthquake in Nepal resulted in significant damage to blood service buildings and facilities, both in Kathmandu and regional areas. The Central Blood Transfusion Service centre in Kathmandu, which serves as the primary coordination hub for the national blood service, was severely damaged and was demolished during 2016.
Above and below: Nepal Red Cross Central Blood Transfusion Service temporary facilities in Kathmandu following the April 2015 earthquake
An extensive scoping assessment of the earthquake impact on blood service facilities was undertaken by GAP in 2015, and recommendations and proposed activities to rebuild the blood program were developed and discussed with Partner National Societies interested in providing financial and/or technical support.
The development and distribution of GAP's recovery proposal for the Nepal Red Cross Society blood program, combined with the series of meetings held with prospective stakeholders, has enabled GAP to maximise potential partner funding and support for this project and has provided transparency of multiple partner programs to minimise the risks of duplication of activities and investments.
With the support of Partner National Societies, the project is providing assistance to the Nepal Red Cross Society Blood Service with:
Above: GAP delegates visiting damaged Nepal Red Cross blood service facilities in Bhaktapur, Aug 2015
Above: GAP member Dr Ubonwon Charoonruangrit (Thailand National Blood Centre) in Nepal