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'Blood banks across WHO South-East Asia Region need more blood'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Noting that banks across the South-East Asian Region including needed more blood, the (WHO) today stressed the need for donating blood, saying it was one of the easiest ways to be there for someone else and to share life.

WHO for South-Poonam Khetrapal Singh also stressed the need to fortify and product systems to save lives.

"Blood banks across the WHO South-Region need more blood. Region-wide around 18 million units of blood are required annually. At present, an estimated 15.9 million are collected.

"That leaves a deficit of just over 2 million units and makes the act of donating blood uniquely powerful: Put simply, it is one of the easiest ways to be there for someone else and to share life," she said, on the eve of World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated on June 14.

She said that well-coordinated blood and could increase the act's life-saving impact by ensuring that safe, high-quality were available to all people at all times.

In recent years, Member States have made rapid strides towards that goal, with each of them now implementing national policies on and blood safety, including testing all blood for the potential of transfusion-transmitted infections, she said.

"That 82 per cent of the blood collected region-wide is from voluntary, non-remunerated donors is testament to the civic responsibility many people share, and the effectiveness of the blood and that have been put in place," she said.

She asserted that by carrying out a series of key initiatives including boosting donations each of the Region's Member States can build on their substantial gains and enhance the implementation of the WHO's global strategy for safe blood.

The WHO's South-Region comprises Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste.

Through supplementary planning, for example, can be more efficiently processed and distributed, she said.

"That means ensuring centralised blood banks responsible for the collection, processing and distribution of blood, are clearly designated. It also means accurately mapping the volume of blood needed to cover specific catchment zones, including remote and hard-to-reach areas," Singh said.

Haemovigilance the set of surveillance procedures covering the entire chain can likewise be better managed and regulated, she said.

"In particular, Member States should ensure haemovigilance measures are reported to the WHO Global Database on Blood Donor Safety, with a particular focus on ensuring both public and private facilities do the same," she said.

Noting that increased attention to the processing of blood will similarly help make full use of donations, she said at present just under half of all blood donated in the region is separated into its various components a process that allows patients to receive only the plasma, platelet, red or white cells they require, leaving the rest to be used as and where needed.

"This process should be carried out as a matter of priority," she asserted.

Importantly, Member States should strive to limit the need for in the first place, she said.

That can be done by providing high-quality essential services including antenatal care, screening and diagnosis, and health promotion and at the primary level.

"Not only will this significantly reduce the need for blood transfusions; it will also fortify more generally," she said.

"Indeed, though giving blood may be a simple way to save a life, strengthening the systems that collect, process, disseminate, store and transfuse blood will advance progress towards a goal that WHO South-East Asia and its Member States are striving to achieve: access to essential for all," she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 18:50 IST