Train-the-Trainer Transfusion Camp workshop, Rwanda 2023 May

In May 2023, a multidisciplinary team from Canada and Rwanda carried out two 2-day Transfusion Camp Train-the-Trainer workshops for a total of 51 physicians and laboratory technicians from across all four provinces in Rwanda. Transfusion Camp is a transfusion medicine education curriculum originally designed by a group of Canadian transfusion medicine and hematology faculty including Dr. Yulia Lin and Dr. Jacob Pendergrast, who were part of the Canadian delegation teaching the workshops in Rwanda. The course has previously been shown to increase transfusion medicine knowledge and self-reported confidence in managing transfusion medicine related problems in clinical care.1,2  

This exciting project was the culmination of 18 months of planning and curriculum review, with the aim to bring contextually appropriate transfusion medicine education and evidence-based practice updates to practitioners in Rwanda. A secondary objective was introducing the team-based learning framework of Transfusion Camp so that participants could independently teach case-based content to their colleagues and medical trainees in the future. Collaborators included Transfusion Camp faculty, Canadian Blood Services, The Rwanda Biomedical Centre (Blood Transfusion Division) and the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Rwanda. Zipline Rwanda also played a key role, presenting lecture content in how drone technology works to deliver blood products in Rwanda and gave hands on sessions allowing participants to interact with the drones used by Zipline throughout the country.

Education for medical practitioners and teams working in high-risk environments where blood transfusion is critical to patient survival is necessary to uphold the standards of blood product administration and safety.3 This workshop offered didactic content in red cell transfusion, platelet transfusion, plasma and cryoprecipitate transfusion, pediatric transfusion, and massive hemorrhage protocols along with case-based small group learning sessions in these transfusion topics and breakout groups tasked with brainstorming how to best educate and disseminate knowledge and guidelines to fellow practitioners in Rwanda. Course evaluations demonstrated key successes including measurable increases in self-rated advanced or expert transfusion medicine knowledge (from 33% pre to 91% post) and 75% of participants responding that they now felt confident enough that they could teach a Transfusion Camp course to others.

Next up for the Transfusion Camp Canada-Rwanda partnership will be creating long-lasting change in transfusion medicine education in Rwanda through curriculum planning for new medical graduates, nurses and non-physician anesthetists, along with further dissemination of transfusion guidelines to practitioners in district hospitals and rural and remote regions in Rwanda. Dr. Thomas Muyombo, the Division Manager of the Blood Transfusion Division of the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, invited the participants to join us in this partnership in his workshop closing remarks:

”as we go back to the hospitals, let us go back with this spirit”

and thus, we have no doubt that the next iteration of Transfusion Camp Rwanda will include a larger and more experienced team of local faculty ready to teach and mentor colleagues and each other.  Thank you to the International Society of Blood Transfusion and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre for supporting this innovative course and partnership.


1.    Lin Y, Tilokee E, Chargé S, et al. Transfusion Camp: a prospective evaluation of a transfusion education program for multispecialty postgraduate trainees. Transfusion (Paris). 2019;59(6):2141-2149. doi:10.1111/trf.15284

2.    Lin Y, Khandelwal A, Kapitany C, Chargé S. Transfusion Camp: Successes and challenges in scaling and expanding a transfusion medicine education program. Transfus Apher Sci. 2023;62(1). doi:10.1016/J.TRANSCI.2022.103629

3.    Action framework to advance universal access to safe, effective and quality-assured blood products 2020–2023. Accessed April 30, 2023.



 The Authors

Nizeyimana Françoise

Nizeyimana Françoise

University of Rwanda, Rwanda

Teresa Skelton

Teresa Skelton

University of British Columbia, Canada