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Voluntary, unpaid blood donors supply all blood in 57 countries

By Joyce Namutebi

Added 14th June 2017 04:22 PM

Blood transfusion, according to WHO, saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood.

Voluntary, unpaid blood donors supply all blood in 57 countries

Blood transfusion, according to WHO, saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood.


As the world marks World Blood donor Day today (Wednesday) it has been found out that 57 countries collect 100% of their blood supply from voluntary, unpaid blood donors.

Blood transfusion, according to WHO, saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood.

The need for blood transfusion may arise at any time in both urban and rural areas. The unavailability of blood has led to deaths and many patients suffering from ill-health, it said.

"An adequate and reliable supply of safe blood can be assured by a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors. Regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors are also the safest group of donors as the prevalence of bloodborne infections is lowest among these donors," the organization said.

World Health Assembly resolution WHA63.12 urges all Member States to develop national blood systems based on voluntary unpaid donations and to work towards the goal of self-sufficiency.

 

Data reported to WHO shows significant increases of voluntary unpaid blood donations in low- and middle-income countries:

 

An increase of 10.7 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors from 2008 to 2013 has been reported by 159 countries. The highest increase of voluntary unpaid blood donations is in the South-East Asian (75%) Region and African Region (37%). The maximum increase in absolute numbers was reported in the South-East Asia region (5.3 million donations), followed by the Western Pacific Region (2.8 million donations).

 

Seventy -Four countries, it is said, collect more than 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donations (39 high-income countries, 26 middle-income countries and 9 low-income countries). This includes 57 countries with 100% (or more than 99%) of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors.


In 71 countries, more than 50% of the blood supply is still dependent on family/replacement and paid blood donors (11 high-income countries, 45 middle-income countries and 16 low-income countries).

 

Of the 112.5 million blood donations collected globally, approximately half of these are collected in high-income countries, home to 19% of the world's population.

 

In low-income countries, up to 65% of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age; whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 65 years of age, accounting for up to 76% of all transfusions.

Based on samples of 1000 people, the blood donation rate is 32.1 donations in high-income countries, 14.9 donations in upper-middle-income countries, 7.8 donations in lower-middle-income countries and 4.6 donations in low-income countries.

 

An increase of 10.7 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been reported from 2008 to 2013. In total, 74 countries collect over 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors; however, 71 countries collect more than 50% of their blood supply from family/replacement or paid donors.

 

Providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of every country's national health care policy and infrastructure.

 

WHO recommends that all activities related to blood collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution be coordinated at the national level through effective organization and integrated blood supply networks. The national blood system should be governed by national blood policy and legislative framework to promote uniform implementation of standards and consistency in the quality and safety of blood and blood products.

 

WHO recommends that all blood donations should be screened for infections prior to use. Screening for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis should be mandatory. Blood screening should be performed according to the quality system requirements. ends

 

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