Blood transfusion safety

Interregional workshop on strategies and mechanisms for strengthening national blood programmes

Place: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: 5–8 March 2007

Blood transfusion is an essential part of health care and the need for equitable access to safe blood is universal. Every country shares the need to ensure the quality, safety and accessibility of blood transfusion. Blood safety is also integral to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals. It is the responsibility of national health authorities in ensuring safety, quality, adequate and accessible supply of blood as a component of the national health care system. The problems of transmission of blood borne infections through transfusion have focused both public and political attention on the safety of blood and blood components, resulting in an increase in the safety measures and restructuring of the National Blood Programme (NBP). Despite this, issues of blood safety and availability are still of serious concern in many countries in the world.

To address these constraints, WHO (WHO-HQ, WHO-SEARO and WHO-WPRO) organized the "WHO Interregional Workshop on Strategies and Mechanisms for Strengthening National Blood Programmes" from 5 to 8 March 2007 in the National Blood Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 48 participants from 21 countries of the South-East Asian and Western Pacific Regions (Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Viet Nam) participated in the workshop (see Annex 1: List of participants of the workshop report).

Objectives

The overall objective of the workshop is to provide policy guidance, advocacy, best practices and development of national action plans to address these challenges in strengthening the blood programme and effective service delivery for countries of the WHO South-East Asian and Western Pacific Regions.

Specific objectives of the workshop are:

  • To review the status of national blood programmes in the two regions.
  • To share the experiences from different countries in establishing and implementing the national blood programme and to compare the different existing model.
  • To identify gaps and challenges for countries and the necessary actions for policy development and organizational changes for the strengthening of the national blood programmes in the participating countries.

Expected outcomes

  • Review of existing status of national blood programme in the participating countries from two regions.
  • Sharing and learning of the experiences from different countries in establishing and implementing the national blood programme.
  • Plan of actions developed for policy and organizational strengthening of the national blood programme in the participating countries based on the country requirements.
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Report of the WHO Interregional workshop on strategies and mechanisms for strengthening national blood programmes