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NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICE, GHANA IN PEER REVIEW

NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICE, GHANA IN PEER REVIEW

On April 1st and 2nd, 2014, the National Blood Service, Ghana will hold its maiden Annual Performance Review meeting with its stakeholders under the theme, “Towards Achieving Safe, Adequate and Sustainable National Blood Supplies Based on 100% Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donations”.

The objective of the performance review 2013 is to assess corporate performance and chart a common pathway for corporate identity of the National Blood Service, Ghana. The expectation for the performance assessment will include a review of the status of blood services in the country, challenges and the way forward.

The National Blood Service Ghana, the institution responsible for ensuring the adequacy, safety, efficacy of blood and blood products for all patients in both public and private health institutions in the country has come a long way; beginning from the mid 1960’s when the idea of a Transfusion Service was conceived at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

The National Blood Transfusion Service has evolved from the Regional Blood Transfusion Service in the capital, to co-ordinate blood services in the country, under the Ministry of Health, and then the Ghana Health Service. However, there were some challenges to that arrangement.  Due to the challenges, the then minister of health constituted a committee to review the National blood programme, out of which a report was submitted to him for consideration in the year 1999. The report was eventually accepted for full implementation.

Membership of a National Blood Committee was subsequently constituted and inaugurated to formulate the National Blood Policy, based on revised blood programme among other functions.

In response to the policy arrangement, the Government of Ghana approved a loan facility from the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) for the co-financing of Health Services Rehabilitation Project 3, a component II of which directly tackled the modernization and restructuring of blood services in the country. This included development of policies, standards, operations, and civil works for the National Blood Service.

Legislation establishing the National Blood Service as an agency of the Ministry of Health is currently awaiting parliamentary approval.

(Picture of Dr. Justina K. Ansah Attached)

The Director of the National Blood Service, Ghana, Dr. Justina Kordai Ansah has hinted that the National Blood Policy will be extensively discussed at the Performance Review meeting, whilst highlighting the implications of the delay in passing the Bill.

Presentations at the forum will afford stakeholders the opportunity to be abreast with the operations of the National Blood Transfusion Service and the vital role of Blood Services in the health delivery system of the country especially in relation to the attainment of 3 of the Health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4, 5 and 6

By Stephen Addai-Baah

 

The writer is the PR and Communication Officer,

At the National Blood Service, Ghana

e-mail: steve_addai@yahoo.com