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Ministry Of Health Drafts Bill To Regulate Blood Transfusion Services   
 
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24-Sep-2018  
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The Ministy of Health (MOH), in collaboration with the National Blood Service (NBS), is working on a bill to back the provision of blood services to health facilities in the country.

The bill, when passed, will ensure safer blood transfusion by health professionals in both public and private health facilities, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said in Accra.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of the MOH, Nana Kwabena Agyei Mensah, at the handing-over of a technology that screens and removes infections in blood.

Dubbed the “Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology (Mirasol PRT), the initiative which was developed by the Japanese international Cooperation Agency (JICA) is meant to reduce infections that are associated with blood transfusion.

The technology

The technology, made available under the support of the JICA in collaboration with the MOH and other development agencies, was piloted in the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital as part of the Ghana Blood Safety Programme which commenced in 2016.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said about 50 per cent of those who received blood transfusions in the country were pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and infants. 

“These population of patients are the most vulnerable to infections from infected blood transfusions.

Like many other African countries, Ghana is burdened with an elevated risk of potential transfusion-transmitted infection.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) proposes that to have a sustainable blood supply, a country needs to collect a minimum of 10 units of blood per every 1,000 population,” he said.

He was, however, quick to add that Ghana collected approximately 6.1 units of whole blood for every 1,000 people, below the estimated minimal need recommended by the WHO.

The Ministy of Health (MOH), in collaboration with the National Blood Service (NBS), is working on a bill to back the provision of blood services to health facilities in the country.

The bill, when passed, will ensure safer blood transfusion by health professionals in both public and private health facilities, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said in Accra.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of the MOH, Nana Kwabena Agyei Mensah, at the handing-over of a technology that screens and removes infections in blood.

Dubbed the “Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology (Mirasol PRT), the initiative which was developed by the Japanese international Cooperation Agency (JICA) is meant to reduce infections that are associated with blood transfusion.

The technology

The technology, made available under the support of the JICA in collaboration with the MOH and other development agencies, was piloted in the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital as part of the Ghana Blood Safety Programme which commenced in 2016.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said about 50 per cent of those who received blood transfusions in the country were pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and infants. 

“These population of patients are the most vulnerable to infections from infected blood transfusions.

Like many other African countries, Ghana is burdened with an elevated risk of potential transfusion-transmitted infection.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) proposes that to have a sustainable blood supply, a country needs to collect a minimum of 10 units of blood per every 1,000 population,” he said.

He was, however, quick to add that Ghana collected approximately 6.1 units of whole blood for every 1,000 people, below the estimated minimal need recommended by the WHO.

Expansion

Mr Agyeman-Manu stated that the MOH had taken steps to expand the use of the Mirasol PRT beyond the two teaching hospitals in a bid to achieve greater results in ensuring blood safety.

“In 2019, we will expand the programme to include the Northern Zonal Blood centre in Tamale,” he assured.

He further noted that a budget of between $300,000 and $400,000 per year would be allocated to purchase equipment, provide disposables and maintain the installed equipment in the next five years to ensure sustainability of the project.

Appeal

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NBS, Dr Justina Kordai Ansah, appealed to the general public to support voluntary blood donation.

That, she said, would enable the NBS achieve a 100 per cent voluntary unpaid donations by the end of 2020.

She said about 150 health professionals were undergoing training on how to efficiently operate the Mirasol PRT. 

Commitment 

For his part, the CEO of  KBTH, Dr Daniel Asare, expressed delight at the introduction of the technology into the health sector and assured the commitment of the hospital towards its success.

“The project did not only make blood safer for patients but also strengthened Haemovigilance in selected wards in the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital,” he observed.

Mr Agyeman-Manu stated that the MOH had taken steps to expand the use of the Mirasol PRT beyond the two teaching hospitals in a bid to achieve greater results in ensuring blood safety.

“In 2019, we will expand the programme to include the Northern Zonal Blood centre in Tamale,” he assured.

He further noted that a budget of between $300,000 and $400,000 per year would be allocated to purchase equipment, provide disposables and maintain the installed equipment in the next five years to ensure sustainability of the project.

Appeal

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NBS, Dr Justina Kordai Ansah, appealed to the general public to support voluntary blood donation.

That, she said, would enable the NBS achieve a 100 per cent voluntary unpaid donations by the end of 2020.

She said about 150 health professionals were undergoing training on how to efficiently operate the Mirasol PRT. 

Commitment 

For his part, the CEO of  KBTH, Dr Daniel Asare, expressed delight at the introduction of the technology into the health sector and assured the commitment of the hospital towards its success.

“The project did not only make blood safer for patients but also strengthened Haemovigilance in selected wards in the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital,” he observed.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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