Less than 1 percent of blood donations are from African Americans. Though compatibility is not based on race, genetically similar blood is best for patients who need repeated or large volumes of blood transfusions, or those who have produced red blood cell antibodies for various diseases and conditions like sickle cell, heart disease and kidney disease.
In September, Sickle Cell Awareness month, the question of why more African Americans don’t donate blood was top of mind. In a 2012 community survey African Americans answered, “Nobody asked.”
Other barriers to donation include fear and distrust and the need for different marketing approaches and education strategies.
A new mobile app from the American Red Cross looks to remedy this disparity as it pairs blood donation with cell phones. The ARC Blood App is a first-of-its kind Blood Donor App that puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand. Through the app, users can schedule appointments, track total donations, earn rewards and invite others to join them on a lifesaving team.
This is a great way to encourage African Americans to donate blood as according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 93% of African Americans own a cell phone while 64% own smartphones and this segment of the population tends to over-index in the use of wireless devices.
Source: Politic 365