Introduction

The Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) in collaboration with the Tanzania National Blood Transfusion Services brings you the 09th Edition of its Biennial Scientific Congress, taking place at The Tanzania Convention Centre in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania from 19 to 22 June 2018.

Theme

The Congress is running under the theme: “Reducing Maternal and New Born Mortality: The role of safe blood Transfusion”

The Congress is held in a different African country, every two years with the host country alternating between Anglophone and Francophone countries, and brings together world experts in the blood banking, policymakers and other key stakeholders who all have a role to play in the field of transfusion medicine. The Arusha 2018 Congress is expected to be attended by more than 350 delegates and shall be the ideal setting to renew friendships, make acquaintances, network with other professionals in the field, present their work and also find some time to visit the wonders of this beautiful country.
Formed early 1997 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, represented in more than 41 African Countries and with about 400 members, The African Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) advocates for the highest ethical, professional standards and skills in blood transfusion across the African continent that enables safe, universally accessible and sustainable national blood programmes in participating African countries. This is mostly achieved through implementation of a range of support¬ing Strategic Objectives including but not limited to:

  • Developing and supporting the implementation of the AfSBT Step-wise Accreditation Programme that endorses operating standards of the highest quality for the
  • Practice of blood transfusion and takes cognisance of the disparate states of development of blood services in Africa.
  • Developing and making available in Africa, the AfSBT Education and Training Programme that is appropriate for the practice of blood transfusion at international standard; courses are based on distance learning and e-learning technology and complement the AfSBT Step-wise Accreditation Programme.
  • Designing and establishing distance learning technology to support and disseminate the education programmes and communication platforms of AfSBT.
  • Advocating improved blood programmes in African countries, to national authorities, international organisations, and other support groups.
  • Communicating and sharing information related to blood transfusion and relevant to the African region.

Tanzania government through its Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) on its ongoing comprehensive health sector reforms identified the availability of safe blood and blood products as one of its strategic priorities aimed at meeting the health demands of all people, including combating the spread of HIV infection, and other blood transmissible infections.

The need for availability of adequate supply of safe blood for transfusion in the country lead to the establishment of The coordinated National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS), whose mission would ensure easily accessible and adequate supply of safe and high quality blood and blood components, collected from voluntary non-remunerated regular blood donors in well-equipped premises, stored and transported under optimum conditions and finally transfused under supervision of well trained personnel, into all who need it irrespective of their economic or social status through comprehensive and quality management.
Ever since its establishment in 2005, The National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) increased Blood collection for more than ten times from 12,000 and 196,735 units, equal to 86% of the national target of 230,000 blood units, and increased blood collection centers from 7 to more than 25 sites countrywide.
Indeed, the 2018 Congress has strong foundations, and you are therefore urged to participate and take advantage of the rich presentations, and benefit from the exposure to this often hard to reach audience.

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