Progress in the blood supply of Afghanistan

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The blood supply system in Afghanistan was badly damaged by years of conflict. In 2009, the Afghanistan National Blood Safety and Transfusion Service (ANBSTS) was established.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

For 6 years, we collaborated to assist with policy and infrastructure development; blood bank operations; blood collection, testing, and component production; transfusion practices; and training of technicians, nurses, midwives, and physicians.

RESULTS:

Policies were established, infrastructure was strengthened, and capable staff was acquired and trained. Standard operating procedures were developed, testing was improved, and quality systems were established. Thirty trainings were held for blood center staff. Four additional formal trainings were held for 39 physicians, 36 nurses and/or midwives, and 38 laboratory technicians. During 5 years of this project, blood collection increased by 40%.

CONCLUSION:

The ANBSTS has made impressive progress developing infrastructure, personnel, procedures, quality systems, and training programs and increasing blood collection. Knowledge of transfusion medicine was improved through structured training.

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