|Safe Blood in Developing Countries - The Lessons from Uganda (EC, 1995, 151 p.)|
|Foreword by Commissioner Professor Pinheiro|
HIV is one of the major social issues of the end of this century. Despite a major effort of the developing countries, supported by the international community over the last 9 years, the epidemic continues to spread rapidly, especially in the developing world.
Already in 1987 the European Union launched a support programme to limit the spread of the epidemic and mitigate its social impact. Interventions developed at both Community and bilateral levels since then make the Europe of the 15 the most important donor in the field of HIV/AIDS actions today. In order to mobilize the highest political support and to improve the efficiency of our technical and financial support, coordination between all members of the Community is being improved and the council of Ministers adopted an important resolution on HIV/AIDS actions in the developing world. This resolution defines the European strategies and principles for the next 5 years.
One of the priority strategies in countries where the epidemic is already widespread is to ensure the safety of blood donations. Since 1987 the Community, with its partners, has accumulated well documented experience and developed a comprehensive approach.
The first project developing this approach through support for a blood policy at national level, ensuring the safety of blood transfusion throughout the country by now, was started in 1987 in Uganda. This book reports on the work undertaken and it is our hope that this crucial experience will be worthwhile for other people in ministries and donor agencies, and be an encouragement to individuals.
Commissioner Professor Pinheiro
- communication from Mrs Ruth Isingoma, matron, Kabarole Hospital
'It is a wonderful experience to see a patient walk from hospital, especially after she or he has spent some days lying hopelessly in bed. The Blood Transfusion Service has greatly contributed to such encounters in Kabarole hospital. Many patients, patients' relatives and friends have been observed expressing words of gratitude to the hospital staff as well as praising God for the availability of the same.
'Individual patients, the hospital staff and the public as a whole have all shared the benefits of blood transfusion. Patients include those that need emergency blood transfusion as has been in cases of road traffic accidents, ante-partum haemorrhage, post-partum haemorrhage, plus emergency operations.
'Many lives of such patients have been saved by the blood which is now available all the time. Some other patients need blood therapeutically. Severe anaemia due to pregnancy, acute or chronic diseases common in either adults or children have been combated by blood transfusion. Those that are admitted for planned operations go through theatre successfully. 'The AIDS scourge need not be left unmentioned as transfusion of safe blood is one of the hospital's main achievements. This has brought about a good hospital-public relationship. People have gained more confidence in the hospital.
'Some years past, when faced with a crisis of saving patients' lives in the absence of blood, the hospital would ask the patients' relatives or friends to take the responsibility of getting urgent blood donors. In most cases, they were not successful as it involved high costs. That is when patients with road traffic accidents, ante-partum haemorrhage, post-partum haemorrhage and others in need of urgent blood transfusion lost their lives. Today the same task is no longer given to the patients or friends, since the blood bank does that effectively.
'Since it has achieved such an advantageous goal, the hospital prays for the persistence of the service.'
UGANDA'S BLOOD TRANSFUSION CENTRES