A blood safety and information (BSIS) system has been launched for the National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG), in Accra.
The electronic information management system will help track blood donor information from the point of donation, through laboratory testing, processing, storage and distribution to health facilities.
The system is being operated with support from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with Jembi Health Systems, a South African health non-governmental organisation, and the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation as a five-year project, after which the National Blood Service will completely take over.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Mrs Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah, who launched the BSIS system, commended the US government and Jembi for their support.
She appealed to the general public to support voluntary blood donation to enable the National Blood Service to achieve a 100 per cent voluntary unpaid donations by the end of 2020.
Mrs Mensah said the BSIS was expected to assist with quality blood management and service, improve patients’ safety and above all help in the reduction of mortalities occurring as a result of blood loss.
“As a ministry, we believe in the synergy of partnership and alliances in the provision of universal health care and as such we shall continue to create the congenial environment for our existing and potential partners to work in concert in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” she added.
She, therefore, pledged the ministry’s commitment in moving such programmes forward while championing the use of technologies in health systems across the country.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert Jackson, said the project was part of a larger Blood Safety Strengthening Programme (BRUNS) under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Since 2010, he said, PEPFAR has invested $1.7 million dollars in strengthening blood safety services in Ghana.
He said with the launch of the BSIS project, “We can achieve an AIDS-free generation.”
The Senior Programme Manager of Jembi Health Systems, Mr Carl Fourier, in his address, said the BSIS and its implementation strategy were designed to transfer ownership and skills to the blood service to enable local administration and support of the solution.
He stated that the implementation of BSIS also supported local blood services in their quest to achieve Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) accreditation, a measure of blood safety and quality management.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NBSG, Dr Justina Ansah, thanked the US government and other implementing partners for the support, saying her outfit would ensure that the BSIS project would run smoothly even after the completion of the project.