Blood service in the Tibetan regions of Garzê and Aba, China: a longitudinal survey
The Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Garzê) and the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (Aba) are located in the Sichuan Province, China. These two prefectures form the second largest Tibetan‐inhabited region in southwestern China. This region consists mostly of plateaus and alpine valleys, and it covers 237 000 km2 in total, which is more than a third of the size of Sichuan Province. This region has an average altitude of more than 3000 m and a population of more than 2 million people. Tibetans account for 80% of the population (Aba Government, 2016; Garzê Government, 2016). Health‐care services accessibility of the Tibetan region is different from the Han region due to geographical, cultural and religious diversity. Both Garzê and Aba have their own local blood centre that serves residents and millions of tourists every year. Blood service in this area has never been reported. It is essential to assess the current situation and analyse whether a safe and adequate blood supply has been developed and whether optimal transfusion practices are in place. A survey was conducted in this region from 2013 to 2016. The purpose of this study was to investigate the current situation of blood service, gather preliminary data and conduct descriptive research to support further research and experimentation.