Blood transfusion safety

World Blood Donor Day, 14 June

13 June 2016 -- Voluntary, unpaid blood donations must be increased rapidly in more than half the world’s countries in order to ensure a reliable supply of safe blood for patients whose lives depend on it, WHO said on World Blood Donor Day.

Community Engagement, Education, Recruitment and Retention of People Recovered from Ebola as Potential Donors for CWB and CP

blood samples

This document provides interim guidance and outlines key considerations to enable national health authorities, programme managers in the ministries of health, blood transfusion services and organizations conducting clinical trials, to effectively inform, educate and engage people recovered from Ebola and the communities in which they live, to consider donations of convalescent whole blood (CWB) and convalescent plasma (CP) for use in the treatment of Ebola Virus Disease, including for use in clinical trials in the affected countries.

Ebola virus disease brings not only challenges but also opportunities for blood systems in West Africa

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Directors and programme managers of the national blood transfusion services of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone recently gathered in Geneva to meet with WHO. The consultation's main goal was to develop strategic short-term activities for the post-Ebola recovery, and long-term plans to rebuild the countries’ blood systems beyond their pre-Ebola capacities.

Self-sufficiency in safe blood and blood products based on VNRD

In 2010, the World Health Assembly deliberated on challenges to the availability, safety and quality of blood products and defined self‐sufficiency in the supply of safe blood and blood products based on Voluntary Non-Remunerated Donation (VNRD), and the security of that supply, as important national goals to prevent blood shortages and meet the transfusion requirements of the patient population. Resolution WHA63.12 urged Member States "to take all necessary steps to establish, implement and support nationally‐coordinated, efficiently‐managed and sustainable blood and plasma programmes according to the availability of resources, with the aim of achieving self‐sufficiency".

The World Health Organization has been at the forefront of the movement to improve global blood safety since 1975 as mandated by successive World Health Assembly resolutions. The objective of the WHO programme on Blood Transfusion Safety is to ensure provision of universal access to safe, quality and efficacious blood and blood products for transfusion, their safe and appropriate use, and also ensuring blood donor and patient safety.

WHO supports its Member States through policy advice and technical guidance, advocacy, mentoring, technical support, technology transfer, capacity building, twinning, networking, and facilitation of bilateral and multilateral funds.

Related information

Related departments

Blood safety in the WHO regional offices