4 juni 2015, Grand opening of Sango

Welcome to the grand opening of Sango!

On Thursday 4 June Sango, the new building the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders in Mechelen, will have its official opening. We sincerely hope you can make it.

Sango is the new operating base of our Blood Services, which is responsible for the collection, processing and quality checking of all blood products. This means that people can donate blood in the building, but also that the blood is processed on site.

  • CELA (the Central Laboratory) checks all blood samples
  • HILA (Laboratory for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics) performs tests to check whether the blood, organs or stem cells of a donor and patient match each other
  • PROLOG (Production and Logistics) split up the blood donations into plasma and red blood cells, and provide distribution to the hospitals
  • Sango also houses our donor relations department and our medical secretaries

The Red Cross is very concerned about sustainability, so in building Sango we took the environment into account. Sango is the only Belgian laboratory building to have earned to BREEAM-certificate of “Outstanding”. It’s a “nearly zero energy building”.

But Sango is not only home to the Blood Services. Our library service houses thousands of books in Sango, for distribution in hospitals and care centres.

After three years of hard work, we’re very pleased to officially unveil Sango for you. You will be joined by:

  • Prime minister Charles Michel
  • Federal minister for Social Affairs and Public Health Maggie De Block
  • Flemish minister for Welfare, Public Health and Family Jo Vandeurzen


  • 16.30: welcome
  • 16.45: academic session, with speeches by:
    • David Hammill, president of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service
    • minister Jo Vandeurzen
    • minister Maggie De Block
    • prime minister Charles Michel
  • 17.30: official opening by Prime Minister Charles Michel
  • 17.45: Ministers Charles Michel and Jo Vandeurzen donate blood, along with Bart Somers, mayor of Mechelen
  • 17.45-19.45: opportunity to follow a tour of the building
  • 17.30-20.00: reception

A short impression of how Sango was built:

And as you can see here, moving our Blood Services to new building, was quite the operation. Watch how HILA did it: