One of the missions of the Medicines and Health Technologies project, especifically the area of Blood Services in the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is to cooperate technically with national blood programs in the Region of the Americas to ensure that they have sufficient quantities of safe blood to provide timely transfusions to all patients who need them, thus contributing to lower mortality and optimal patient care in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Technical cooperation in transfusion safety is governed by the mandates of both the World Health Assembly (Resolutions WHA28.72 of 1975, EB79.R1 of 1987, WHA53.14 of 2000, WHA55.18 of 2002, and WHA58.13 of 2005) and the Governing Bodies of PAHO (Resolutions CD41.R15 of 1999, CD46.R5 of 2005, and CD48.R7 of 2008).
The Regional Plan of Action, originally drawn up during the First Pan American Conference on Blood Safety, held in Washington, D.C. in 2003, and subsequently revised for the period 2006–2010, based on the progress and constraints of recent years, was adopted by the Directing Council of PAHO in September 2005 through resolution CD46.R5. The Plan of Action has four strategies:
1. Planning and management of the national blood network system
2. Promotion of voluntary blood donation
3. Quality assurance
4. Appropriate use of blood and blood components
Since the efficient operation of blood services depends on their interaction with the public, in collaboration with the ministries of education, labor, and social protection; on the coordination of patient care services; and on the participation of professionals from different specialties, it is essential that ministries of health take the lead and assume responsibility for the national blood system and that they promote the participation of other sectors in the planning, execution, and assessment of the activities. These ideas, explored in document CD48/11, were endorsed by the Directing Council of PAHO in October 2008 through Resolution CD48.R7, wherein the Directing Council requests the Director of PAHO to cooperate with the Member States in the implementation of the Regional Plan of Action for Transfusion Safety 2006-2010, using a multidisciplinary and coordinated approach; to work with Member States and international organizations to assess the implementation of the Plan and identify country-specific interventions; and to prepare annual reports on the situation of blood transfusion safety in the Region of the Americas.
The technical documents and reports of PAHO are designed to provide professionals in the member countries with a situation analysis, helping them to identify pertinent strategies and design and implement interventions, including staff training. In order to maximize the impact of its resources, PAHO also identifies materials produced by other institutions that can assist with local decision-making.
This website, therefore, contains our own technical documents and a number of links that will enable visitors to access the basic tools necessary for ensuring the timely availability of sufficient quantities of safe blood for transfusions.