Blood donation success stories from countries

Viet Nam

Safer blood, more volunteers

A young couple are one of 500 couples who gave blood at the Pink Spring Festival in Ha Noi.
National Institute of Haematology, Viet Nam

In 2001, Viet Nam faced various challenges in its blood transfusion services. Limited community awareness meant only one third of blood donations came from volunteers. Outdated equipment and technology restricted screening for infection and grouping of blood types, and doctors were in the habit of using whole blood for transfusions instead of converting it into components such as red cell concentrates and plasma for more efficient use.

In the past 10 years, the country has centralized and modernized its blood transfusion network to improve blood safety and increase voluntary blood donation.

The numbers are the proof of success: by 2011, 88.7% of blood supplies were from voluntary donors; 100% of donated blood was being screened for HIV, and hepatitis B and C infection; and total annual blood collection had increased in 10 years from 268 394 units in 2001 to 776 420 units.

But Viet Nam is not stopping there, with targets for 2020 including: increasing regular blood donors to 2% of the population and increasing the percentage of blood sourced from voluntary blood donors to 95%.