Kolkata: Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood.
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.
About 112.5 million blood donations are collected worldwide. More than half of these are collected in high-income countries, home to 19 per cent of the world’s population.
About 13,000 blood centres in 176 countries report collecting a total of 110 million donations. Collections at blood centres vary according to income group. The median annual donations per blood centre is 5400 in the low- and middle-income countries, as compared to 16 000 in the high-income countries.
There is a marked difference in the level of access to blood between low- and high-income countries. The whole blood donation rate is an indicator for the general availability of blood in a country.
The median blood donation rate in high-income countries is 32.1 donations per 1000 people. This compares with 14.9 donations per 1000 people in upper-middle-income countries, 7.8 donations per 1000 people in lower-middle-income countries, and 4.6 donations per 1000 people in low-income countries. (UNI)