Blood safety and availability are basic principles for blood transfusion, which saves lives and improves health when practised in an appropriate manner. Unnecessary transfusions and unsafe transfusion practices expose patients to the risk of serious adverse transfusion reactions and transfusion-transmissible infections, while reducing the availability of blood products for patients in need. Therefore, providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of every country’s national health care policy and infrastructure.
Seeking to address the various challenges of the blood sector and engage involved stakeholders, namely international organisations, national health authorities, professional societies, patient associations, and other relevant groups in a productive dialogue and, subsequently, in search of solutions, the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) in the context of its collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), organises the first “Global Forum on Access to Safe Blood Products for Patients in Need of Regular Transfusion”, scheduled to take place virtually on Friday, 5 November 2021 at 13:00 CET.
This multistakeholder meeting will focus on blood safety and availability, shedding light on best practices that could further strengthen national blood establishments, while ensuring patient safety.
About the Global Forum
In high-income countries, blood transfusion is most commonly used for supportive care in cardiovascular surgery, transplant surgery, massive trauma, and therapy for solid and haematological malignancies. In low- and middle-income countries, it is used more often to manage pregnancy-related complications and severe childhood anaemia. Unnecessary transfusions and unsafe transfusion practices expose patients to the risk of serious adverse transfusion reactions and transfusion-transmissible infections. Unnecessary transfusions also reduce the availability of blood products for patients who are in need.
Therefore, providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of every country’s national health care policy and infrastructure, as defined in several World Health Assembly Resolutions.
- An understanding of the strategic vision and goals for blood safety and the protection of the blood supply, especially in low-income settings;
- A better understanding of the key issues and challenges of the blood sector and how these can be addressed and prevented;
- Recognizing that policy measures to further strengthen blood establishments have a vital role to play in ensuring the access of patients to essential health care, especially during infectious disease outbreaks;
- Identifying possible mechanisms and strategies for the implementation of WHO’s resolutions and action plans in the field of blood;
- Development of synergies and establishment of frequent communication and exchange of ideas between different stakeholders.