BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 15 March 2010
A set of recommendations drafted by the UAE health authorities to support blood transfusion safety procedures has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The basic requirements for the safety of blood transfusion presented at an earlier workshop in Sharjah have been considered as a guide to all the countries of the world, according to the health officials.
The workshop conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) between March 31-April 2 2009 at the Centre for Blood Transfusion and Research Services in Sharjah had proposed guidelines as a global basis and measurement for supporting blood transfusion safety in the world.
Seven regional representatives from the WHO and 35 international representatives including experts and scientists in the blood transfusion realm participated in the workshop from different parts of the world.
A senior official at the MoH revealed that the headquarters of the WHO in Geneva has circulated the recommendations to health authorities across the world proposing them to adopt them as a requirement for blood transfusion safety programmes in the world.
Dr Amin Al Amiri, Executive Director for Medical Practices and Licences, and Chairman of the National Committee for Blood Transfusion, said: "The WHO circular has been dispatched to all the seven regions of the world, including developed countries, as well as countries having no advanced blood transfusion services."
"The decision-makers, including directors of blood transfusion centres in each country are urged by the WHO to take the responsibilities in supporting the blood transfusion programmes," he added.
According to Dr Amiri, the world health body has plans to develop a mechanism to exchange information between blood transfusion centres to communicate with the respective regional centres.
"The WHO also focused on the need of applying self-assessment programmes and repeated screening policies for transmitted infectious diseases through blood transfusion practices to ensure adequate safety procedures," he pointed out.
The WHO also called all the member states to benefit from the blood transfusion programmes in the developed countries, reassuring the importance of focusing on the role of the regional centres.
The Sharjah Blood Transfusion Centre supports 22 countries in the Arab World.