12 December 2017

Tanzania: Relief Beckoning As Blood Services Set for Betterment

BLOOD testing services at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) may soon become automated, a move expected to address human errors and improve efficiency, it has been learnt.

The national blood bank yesterday also noted that the decision was also meant to address inadequate human resources. To achieve it, processes included buying a fully automation machine for blood tests in the near future, according to Assistant Director of Curative Services at the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Charles Massambu.

He was speaking in Dar es Salaam at a ceremony for handing over of an accreditation certificate to the NBTS for meeting standards of the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT). The AfSBT awarded the Level Two accreditation to the NBTS after its three zonal offices in Dar es Salaam (eastern zone), Moshi (Northern zone) and Zanzibar met standards of facilities and services.

Dr Massambu explained that acquiring the machine was part of the strategies for improving services and facilities, as well as meeting national and international standards. The sector Deputy Minister, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, challenged the NBTS to broaden its coverage by ensuring that blood transfusion services were available in every region.

"Our country is big; there should be blood transfusion services at every regional hospital," he said, encouraging the management to initiate sustainable programmes that would enable the NBTS refrain from donor-dependence.

Meanwhile, Dr Ndugulile remarked that 199,000, the current number of blood donors was inadequate, calling for its increase, to ensure a rich blood stock.

The Managing Director of the AfSBT, Mr David Mvere, said the three zonal centres had demonstrated compliance with its blood transfusion standards. They had achieved such compliance at Step 2 of the Step Wise Accreditation programme of the AfSBT, he said, adding:

"There is now only one step remaining for these centres left to achieve, Step 3, raising their standard to comparable international transfusion services." Mr Mvere expressed joy over initiatives by Tanzania to wean NBTS fully off donor dependency.

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