World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


World Blood Donor Day, UN Appeals for Blood to Save Mothers

On World Blood Donor Day, UN appeals for safe blood to save mothers

14 June 2014 –

With nearly 800 women dying every day from causes related to complications of pregnancy and childbirth, the United Nations health agency is marking World Blood Donor Day by calling on countries to improve access to safe blood supplies and blood transfusions to save the lives of those mothers in need.

World Blood Donor Day provides a yearly opportunity to highlight the lifesaving role of voluntary unpaid blood donors and also to thank those donors who give this precious gift to save millions of lives every year. This year's theme, 'Safe Blood for Saving Mothers,' aims to increase awareness on how timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.

“When a new mother dies, not only does her baby face greater risk of death, malnourishment and lifelong disadvantage, but the whole family's wellbeing is affected,” says Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) in her remarks on the Day.

According to WHO, severe bleeding during pregnancy, delivery or after childbirth is the single biggest cause of maternal death and can kill a healthy woman within 2 hours if she is unattended. Urgent access to safe supplies of blood for transfusion is critical to saving these women's lives.

“If all obstetric facilities provided safe blood for transfusion, many of these mothers' lives could be saved,” adds Ms. Chan.

The global event for this year's day will be held in the city of Colombo in Sri Lanka, which has successfully reached a self-sufficient blood supply within the last decade, a great role model for those countries unable to provide clean blood and still highly depended on foreign supplies.

Donated blood is collected every year from around 108 million units around the world. However, nearly half of these donations are only from high-income countries.

A resolution adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2010 stressed the importance of campaigning for a secure supply of safe blood based on local voluntary blood donation, where safest source of blood is believed to be from regular, voluntary unpaid donors whose blood is screened for infections.

WHO has recently called all countries to receive their entire blood supply from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020 and it has encouraged them, and their national and international partners, to work on blood transfusion and maternal health to develop an activity plan to highlight the need for timely access to safe blood.

The campaign also promotes the screening for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis of all donated blood prior to transfusion. What has emerged, however, is that in many countries, testing is often not reliable because of irregular supply of test kits, staff shortages, poor quality test kits, or lack of basic quality in laboratories.

Moreover, WHO says that some 25 countries are not able to screen all donated blood for one or more of these infections, showing how the need for timely access to safe blood and blood products in the prevention of maternal deaths is a major priority.

In countries like the Sub-Saharan Africa, which has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world and the lowest blood donation rate, the blood collected is likely to cover only less then half demand.

According to Dr. Edward Kelly, Director of Service Delivery and Safety at WHO, today access to safe blood remains indeed a major issue to be overcome. He suggested that “safe blood transfusion is one of the key life-saving interventions that should be available in all facilities that provide emergency obstetric care”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>

Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news