Global database on blood safety
The WHO Global Database on Blood Safety (GDBS) was established in 1998 to address global concerns about the availability, safety and accessibility of blood for transfusion. The objective of this activity is to collect and analyse data from all countries on blood and blood product safety as the basis for effective action to improve blood transfusion services globally.
A questionnaire, which has been developed as a standardized tool for the collection of data, is sent to national health authorities for completion. The questionnaire is based on the WHO Aide-Mémoire for National Health Programmes: Blood Safety, which covers the four major components of the integrated strategy for blood safety advocated by WHO. Data obtained through the questionnaire are supplemented by information collected by experts during on-site visits to ministries of health and blood transfusion services. Based on earlier responses, the questionnaire has been refined in order to enhance the reliability of the information received. It has been translated into the six official languages of WHO and contains additional background information to facilitate its completion.
The data collected through the GDBS questionnaire are analysed and reports are published on the WHO website. This is updated with the availability of the latest global data. The focus of the analysis is to provide information on the current status of blood transfusion services, assess country needs in improving blood safety, formulate strategic recommendations to countries, plan and implement activities and evaluate progress.