Ghana has become the first West African country and second country in Africa, after Lesotho to launch a Blood Safety Information System (BSIS).
Jointly iinaugurated on Friday, May 26 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra Tina Mensah, the deputy minister of Health and Robert P. Jackson, the US Ambassador to Ghana, the BSIS project is an open source information system designed to manage donor and blood safety information from the point of registration to collection, through to laboratory testing, component processing and labelling, storage, and distribution to hospitals and clinics.
Established by the National Blood Service Ghana (NBSG) in collaboration with the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation and Jembi Health Systems PNC, a South African-based not-for-profit organisation.
BSIS is capable of excluding blood donors based on HIV status and track blood donor infectious disease testing results to ensure adequate linkage to care and treatment services.
The BSIS also builds the capacity of health practitioners to manage information related to blood services and improve blood centre laboratory quality.
Since 2010, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) has invested approximately $ 1.7 million in strengthening blood safety services in Ghana resulting, in an increase in annual blood collections from 140,000 units to more than 160,000 units and a reduced prevalence of HIV seropositive blood donations to a low of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2016.
Mrs Mensah said the Ministry iscommitted to championing the use of technologies in health systems across the country.“It is therefore, our hope that the National Blood Service would mount effective implementation strategy to support the safe and sustainable implementation of this tool across the entire country,” she added.
The US Ambassador to Ghana said: “We can achieve an AIDS-free generation. Today, with the launch of BSIS, we are one step closer to that goal. We partner with Ghana because we both benefit when Ghana succeeds. Healthy Ghanaians can go to work, they can go to school, they can contribute to Ghana‘s growth and stability. “
“A stable, thriving Ghana benefits Ghanaians, provides leadership on the continent and contributes to global growth and stability,” he added.