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

 

Ebola Cases Reaching Record Low

Highly contaminated waste is removed from an Ebola Treatment Unit and carried with caution to a disposal area, where it will be fed into an incinerator that burns it into ashes. Photo: WHO/R. Sørensen More>>

South Sudan: Pervasive Violence Against Healthcare

Juba, South Sudan, July 1, 2014 - Violence in hospitals and the destruction of medical facilities are denying medical services to many of South Sudan 's most vulnerable people, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today in a report, South Sudan Conflict: ... More>>

ALSO:

  • UN News - UNESCO chief denounces killing of journalists in South Sudan
  • Increasing Demand For Refined Products Will Increase Prices

    In last week's article I posted a chart from the International Energy Agency'srecent Oil Market Report that shows global demand for refined products catching up to supply by the 3rd quarter of this year. My opinion is that all of the analysts who are now ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Terrorist Attack On Hotel In Libyan Capital

    27 January 2015 – The United Nations Security Council today condemned in the strongest terms the deadly terrorist attack against the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya, and underlined the need to bring the perpetrators, financiers and sponsors of such ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Malawi In Urgent Need After Intense Flooding

    Torrential rains in Malawi have caused dozens of deaths, with hundreds of people still missing. Photo: UNDP/Arjan van de Merwe More>>

    Lack Of Funding Hampering Aid To Syria

    Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang briefs the Security Council on the situation in Syria. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

    Spy Agency CSE Is Monitoring Our Private Online Activities

    Breaking - Spy agency CSE is monitoring our private online activities on a massive scale and sharing sensitive data with other governments More>>

    UN ‘blue Helmet’ Killed Near Lebanon-Israel Cross-Fire

    28 January 2015 – A United Nations peacekeeper with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon ( UNIFIL ) was killed today near the border with Israel but the precise cause of death is as yet undetermined and remains the subject of investigation, according ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news