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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    WHO's blood-safety initiative: a vain effort?

    Larkin M

    Lancet. 2000 Apr 8; 355(9211):1245.

    On April 7, 2000, the WHO launched the new blood-safety campaign, which aims to increase the availability of safe blood in developing countries. The organization issued facts and figures on the state of the world's blood supply to spur governments to establish national transfusion systems. However, critics reported that the approach is unworkable in the very regions that it aims to protect. Jean Emmanuel, WHO director of blood safety and clinical technology, claimed that efficacy of transfusion services depends on national coordination and government support. On the other hand, Josef DeCosas, director of the Southern African AIDS Training Program in Zimbabwe, states that the success of organized blood-transfusion services in Zimbabwe depends on the network of roads and telephones and the availability of vehicles and fuel. In other African countries, these organized central blood-transfusion services take an enormous chunk of the health care budget. Furthermore, he stated that the central blood-bank scheme of the WHO would work for only a short while and would eventually fall since it does not complement the rest of the health care system, road system and electric supply.
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  2. 2

    WHO blames lack of governments' support for unsafe blood supply.

    AIDS WEEKLY. 2000 Apr 17-24; 17.

    The WHO reported that more than half of the world's countries fail to perform full tests on donated blood, increasing the risk of spreading AIDS and other diseases. It has been estimated that about 5-10% of people with HIV were infected via blood transfusions. The noncompliance of the WHO guidelines on blood donation screening mostly occurs in developing countries, which the WHO concedes as expensive. In the next 5 years, WHO is planning to install, or to assist member states in installing, a national blood safety program to help offset the infected blood supply. On the other hand, nongovernmental organizations like the Red Cross encourages blood donors to be honest with health workers in describing any diseases and ensure that their blood does not endanger the health of the recipient. The WHO, likewise, proposes to bulk-buy testing kits for developing countries, and provide extensive training and program development.
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