WHO African Region: Ethiopia

Regional training workshop on blood donor recruitment: pre and post donation counseling

A five days regional training workshop on blood donor recruitment with a focus on pre and post donation counseling, organized jointly by Blood Safety Unit of WHO/AFRO and WHO

Twenty six participants involved in blood donor recruitment and counseling from 17 English speaking countries from West and South Eastern African Countries are attending the workshop.

The main objective of the work shop is to improve the capacity of participants in recruiting and retaining voluntary non-remunerated blood donors. During the workshop the participants will be trained in donor recruitment strategies and the organization of recruitment campaigns as well as on donor counseling and donor care. It is also hoped that their skills on collection plans and target setting will be improved.

In his opening speech Dr. Hassan Mohamed, head of health services Department of the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia said “As more and more countries achieve the goal of hundred percent voluntary donations, there is a growing appreciation of the vital role of voluntary unpaid donors who give blood on a regular basis. Regular donors are the safest blood donors and they are also the foundation of sustainable national blood supplies that are sufficient to meet the needs of all patients requiring transfusion. Therefore, retaining sustainable blood donors should be a high priority for every country, including Ethiopia.”

In her opening remarks, Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, WR Ethiopia said, “This workshop on voluntary donor recruitment, therefore gives us an opportunity to improve upon the required knowledge and skills to address not only the objectives of the resolutions but also to improve the safety of the blood supply and the quality of health care delivery to our people. The knowledge acquired will also put us in a better position to work towards attaining the vision and mission of our respective national blood services which is to provide adequate and safe blood and blood products to all in need.”

The WR assured the participants that WHO remains fully committed in the provision of technical support to improve capacity in the national Blood Program.

Dr JP Tapko, Regional Advisor for blood safety at WHO/AFRO reviewed the Region’s strategy which aims to assist to set up an effective system of recruitment of low risk blood donors, with a target of collecting at least eighty percent of all blood donations from voluntary non-remunerated blood donors by the end of 2012.

Dr Tapko said that, AFRO region, with a population of 773 million (2006 estimate), requires an estimated 8 million units of blood per annum. However results GDBS survey revealed that blood collection in the whole region is currently 3,191,784 units per annum.

Because of the high prevalence of diseases transmissible by blood transfusion, Dr Tapko underlined the importance of strengthening pre and post counseling. Pre donation counseling ensures the safety of the donor as well as the recipient while post donation counseling ensures regular contact with the donor encourages regular blood donation and safe lifestyle. That is why this workshop on blood donor recruitment with special emphasis focus on pre and post donation counseling is organized.

The PEPFAR project through CDC provides financial support and collaborates in advancing safe blood donation program in Africa.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Paul Mainuka
Medical Officer
Blood Safety, WCO Ethiopia
Mobile: +251 11 184973

Dr. Yohannes kebede
Program officer
Blood Safety, WCO Ethiopia
Mobile: +251 11 405602

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