Blood Service Protects Blood Transfusion Recipients

The National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG) together with Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood components and cellular technologies, has announced the implementation of the Mirasol Whole Blood (WB) System in conjunction with a haemovigilance programme to better protect blood transfusion recipients in Ghana.

This was made possible by the ‘Collaborative Programme with the Private Sector’, a joint effort between the Terumo Corporation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Mirasol WB System and the haemovigilance programme will be implemented at the Korle-Bu and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals in Accra and Kumasi respectively following a pivotal response training (PRT) of the staff of the blood centre.

The Mirasol WB system uses a combination of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and ultraviolet light to inactivate viruses, bacteria, parasites and white blood cells that may be present in collected blood products.

Karen Hackstaff, Director of Communications at Terumo BCT, in a press release explained that blood in Ghana is more likely to be contaminated by viruses such as hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV), human imunodeficiency virus (HIV), bacteria and parasites such as malaria contributing to a high risk of transfusion transmitted infection (TTIs).

“It is in response to this public health concern that the JICA partnered with Terumo Corporation and Terumo BCT to reduce TTI risk using the Mirasol WB System and start a haemovigilance programme in Ghana,” she said.

Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang-Manu stated that the partnership between the JICA and Terumo BCT and Terumo Corporation to assist the NBSG to reduce TTIs using the Mirasol Whole Blood (WB) system and start a haemovigilance programme was highly commendable and appreciated.

He said that the Ministry of Health duly recognises the efforts of the NBSG in ensuring regular blood supply all year round despite her limited resources.

The sector minister assured the NBSG of the ministry’s support for all healthy partnerships to ensure that the service is adequately resourced with the requisite personnel and logistics, so as to ensure efficiency in their service delivery.

Justina Ansah, Chief Executive Officer of NBSG, disclosed that both the Mirasol WB system and the haemovigilance programme are important initiatives in the continuous drive of the NBSG for improving blood safety for the citizens of Ghana.

BY Abigail Owiredu-Boateng