Addressing challenges in Uganda Blood Transfusion Services through capacity building

12 February 2018

The Ugandan Blood Transfusion Service (UBTS) is facing a crisis with the withdrawal of US PEPFAR funding from April 1st 2017. Initial scoping work already reveals a marked fall in blood supply as PEPFAR funding specifically supported donor recruitment and blood collection activities.

 

UBTS' Health Partnership (2016-21) with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) supported by the charity Knowledge for Change (K4C) hopes to address this crisis, and identify sustainable ways of improving blood transfusion systems.

The Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT), supported by the AABB, is the body responsible for setting standards for blood transfusion systems in Africa. UBTS is seeking accreditation, through stages 1 to 3.

UBTS and NHSBT (with support from K4C) commenced a 5 year partnership with a needs assessment aimed at systems improvement to raise standards and achieve AfSBT accreditation to stage 3.

 

In order to take this work forward five UBTS employees have gained funding through the Commonwealth Fellowship programme to visit the UK.  They will focus on four aspects of AfSBT accreditation processes. To support their work an active partnership supported by Steve Morgan International Lead NHSBT), Nick Fowler-Johnson (North West Healthcare Science Workforce Lead) and Professor Ackers (Knowledge for Change and University of Salford) will provide on-going mentoring and guidance.

 

They arrived on Sept 22nd and were involved in a number of workshops, attended the THET conference and Worked with mentors at NHSBT, the North West Regional Training Network and University of Salford researchers.

They returned in December to further share knowledge and skills acquired in Uganda