Thursday, November 03, 2016

Morocco Urgently Needs Blood Donors

While there is a critical need for blood products in Morocco's hospitals, there is also the need to create in the population a culture of regular blood donation

Morocco's present dire need of blood is due to a decline in stocks and the scarcity of donations. The idea of being a regular blood donor is not even considered by a majority of citizens. The Kingdom lags behind many countries in falling below the donor level suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

At present donor contributions in Morocco sit at around 3% of the entire population.

In the developed world a majority of blood donors are unpaid volunteers who donate blood for a community supply. In poorer countries, established supplies are limited and donors usually give blood when family or friends need a transfusion (directed donation). Many donors donate as an act of charity, but in countries that allow paid donation some donors are paid, and in some cases there are incentives other than money such as paid time off from work. Donors can also have blood drawn for their own future use (autologous donation). Donating is relatively safe, but some donors have bruising where the needle is inserted or may feel faint.

The WHO has developed a global framework for action to achieve 100% voluntary blood donation. The plan has been developed jointly by the WHO and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It is designed to provide guidance and support to countries seeking to establish effective voluntary blood donor programmes, phase out family/replacement blood donation and eliminate paid donation.

The vision embodied in this framework is the achievement of 100% voluntary non-remunerated blood donation in every country of the world. It is based on the recognition that voluntary non-remunerated blood donors are the foundation of a safe, sustainable blood supply. Without a system based on voluntary unpaid blood donation, particularly regular voluntary donation, no country can provide sufficient blood for all patients who require transfusion.

At present the WHO statistics show a disparity between wealthy nations and low-income countries.

Of the 112.5 million blood donations collected globally, approximately half of these are collected in the high-income countries, home to 19% of the world’s population.

In low-income countries, up to 65% of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age; whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 65 years of age, accounting for up to 76% of all transfusions.

The blood donation rate in high-income countries is 33.1 donations per 1000 people; 11.7 donations in middle-income countries and 4.6 donations in low-income countries.

An increase of 10.7 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been reported from 2008 to 2013. In total, 74 countries collect over 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors; however, 72 countries collect more than 50% of their blood supply from family/replacement or paid donors.

Only 43 of 175 reporting countries produce plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMP) through the fractionation of plasma collected in the country, whereas the majority of the other 132 countries import PDMP from abroad.

It is critical that Morocco promotes blood donation, retains donors, and most importantly, ensures a culture of voluntary and regular blood donation.


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