Blood transfusion safety

Blood system strengthening

"The ministry of health (MoH) should provide effective leadership and governance in developing a national blood system that is fully integrated into the health-care system."

A health system consists of all the organizations, institutions, resources and people whose primary purpose is to improve health. Strengthening health systems means addressing key constraints including the constraints on a blood system that relate to availability, safety and quality of blood and blood products, universal access, self-sufficiency, community awareness and voluntary non-remunerated blood donation, donation testing, processing, clinical use of blood and blood products and transfusion practices, and haemovigilance, as well as health worker staffing, education and training, infrastructure, health commodities (such as equipment and consumables), logistics, tracking progress and effective financing.

The provision of an adequate supply of safe blood and blood products, and their safe and rational use is the responsibility of government and should be an integral part of each country's national health care policy and health care infrastructure. The ministry of health should establish a sustainable national blood system which is recognized through a national blood policy, strategic plan and appropriate legal instruments. Essential functions of a national blood system include policy formulation and standard setting, strategic and operational planning, provision of sufficient resources and national coordination and management to ensure an adequate supply of blood and blood products and safe clinical transfusion.

Resources and topic linkages

Meeting on Developing Plans to Strengthen the Blood Systems in Ebola-Affected Countries, 25-27 February 2015 Who-HQ, Geneva, Switzerland


Universal access

Leadership, governance and management of a blood system

National blood policies and strategic plans

Essential items for blood transfusion in emergency settings

Legislative and regulatory frameworks

Human resource development

Prevention of health-care associated HIV infection