Stakeholders from both the public and private sectors on Friday gathered to validate The Gambia National Blood Transfusion Policy and Strategic Plan (2014-2020), under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The development and validation of the policy is in cognizance of the World Health Assembly’s resolution which recommends member states to adopt a well-organised centrally coordinated blood transfusion service with quality system, based on 100% volunteering non-remunerated blood donation.
Pa Modou Jagne, the director of National Public Health Lab, said blood transfusion is needed in many areas of health in The Gambia, which includes the replacement of blood lost during birth, emergency surveys and those involved in serious accidents.
Mr Jagne said half a million women die every year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth worldwide. Out of this, he said, 99% of them are in the developing countries.
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Makie Taal, said blood transfusion has immensely contributed towards saving millions of lives yearly and improved life expectancy and quality of patients suffering from life-threatening conditions, worldwide.
He said in many countries, including The Gambia, many people still die, due to the inadequate supply of blood and blood products.