Kingdom unlikely to hit blood target, official says

By: Sarah Taguiam

Voluntary unpaid blood donations (VBDs) in Cambodia have risen over the past four months compared to the same period last year, but a loss of funding will likely set the country back from achieving its year-end goal for 2015, a health official confirmed yesterday.

Last year, around 38 per cent of blood collected came from VBDs. In 2015, the National Blood Transfusion Center (NBTC) hopes to reach a short-term goal of 50 per cent participation by the year’s end.

Due to increased outreach to hospitals and educational institutions, the NBTC confirmed that it acquired more than three thousand blood units from January to April.

“There has definitely been an increase this year especially during April, which is when we usually have one of the lowest blood supplies due to Khmer New Year activities,” said Dr Sek Mardy, WHO’s transfusion safety technical officer.

Approximately 700 blood units were collected from volunteers in April – almost triple the 250 units the NBTC collected in the same month last year.

Cambodia, however, might still be unable to reach its goal because a Global Fund program subsidy runs out this June, Mardy added.

Lack of funding could lead to the loss of blood bank staff in three provinces – Kampong Cham, Siem Reap and Battambang – and regional recruitment team members, he said.

“We’re applying for new funding . . . and I think with that, we can reach the goal next year,” Mardy said.

SOURCE: THE PHNOM PENH POST