The National Blood Service (NBS) has called for the passage of the NBS Bill to grant it an agency’s status and to allow the full implementation of the adopted National Blood Policy (NBP).
Dr Justina Ansah, Director of the Service, said the NBP would ensure an effective and coordinated national approach to the provision of safe, adequate and efficacious, blood and blood products.
It would also make the provision of blood and blood products timely, accessible and affordable to all patients requiring blood transfusion therapy in both public and private health care institutions in the country.
Dr Ansah, who was giving an overview of the service’s activities for 2014, said the review was one major activity institutionalised as a platform for integrated assessment of the performance of NBS as a corporate body.
The review was on the theme: “Towards Achieving a Safe, Adequate and Sustainable National Blood Supplies Based on 100% Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donations.”
The objective of the performance review is to assess corporate performance and chart a common pathway for identity of the National Blood Service Ghana.
The two-day meeting would include a review of the status of blood services in the country, challenges and the way forward.
The service hopes to secure adequate funding for its operations, infrastructural development for the Kumasi and Tamale Blood Centres and the formation of hospital-independent fixed blood collection teams in the coming years.
The formation of hospital-independent fixed blood collection teams is expected to serve as platform for prioritising key actionable areas for resource mobilisation and planning
The NBS is also challenged with lack of effective coordination of blood services nationwide, inadequate numbers and proportion of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors from low risk populations, inadequate numbers of trained staff and unreliable provision of adequate quantities of essential and standard consumables such as test kits, reagents and blood bags resulting in occasional shortages.
Priority actions for 2014 were the operationalisation of the organisational structure and establishment of the NBS and the printing and distributing Information, Education and Communication (IE&C) leaflets/fliers on blood donation.
Dr Ansah said the expected outcome for 2014 was moving operations of NBS headquarters and Southern Sector Blood Centre to the newly purposed built site as well organise yearly annual review and planning meetings with stakeholders.
The service she said achieved some target of moving into it new premises in January, had some equipment and furniture installed, had it maiden Annual Performance Review meeting for three blood Centres held in April, 2014, while 49,000 IE&C leaflets/fliers were printed and supplied.
She said the number of voluntary and replacement donors increased from 45,205 as compared to 39, 976 in 2013.
The NBS seek to be an efficient, effective and innovative provider of safe blood and related services that meet national requirements and international standards and have a mission to save the lives of patients by providing safe and adequate blood products and other related blood services through professionalism of staff and generosity of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.