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World Blood Donor Day: Strategic Plan for National Blood System Development in Ukraine

14 June 2018

About 500 000 Ukrainians annually become donors, yet 70% of them donate blood just one time. Regular voluntary non-remunerated blood donation is actively encouraged and supported in the world, because regular voluntary unpaid blood donors are the safest source of high quality blood. Such donors have different motivations for donating and are better prepared to donate blood than people who do it in exchange for money. The current blood system in Ukraine requires reorganization and modernization aimed at attracting and retaining regular blood donors.

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has elaborated a draft strategy for the national blood system development. The main purpose of the establishment of the National Blood System is ensuring access to safe and quality blood and blood products for Ukrainian patients. The proposed strategy is an updated version of the document developed in 2016, which was revised and amended in accordance with the health reform norms and regulations. The draft strategy has already passed the public consultation phase. After approval by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the document will be submitted for review and approval by the government.

The draft strategy envisages the optimization of blood center processes and the development of efficient management of available reserves of blood and blood products. A number of important initial steps have already been taken.

For example, the first step consists in the evaluation of performance of blood services and centers. The results of the evaluation should serve the basis for determining whether regional and specialized blood transfusion centers meet the requirements for accreditation in compliance with the blood quality and safety regulations set out in the EU Directives and Common European standards. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine will use the evaluation results for further improvement of blood centers and services, in particular by strengthening of outreach services, reorganization, equipment modernization, etc.

The next step is the improvement of the legal framework regulating blood donation in Ukraine – the introduction of programs for blood center licensing, the regulation of public-private partnership, and the state and public sector interactions.

Finally, the establishment of a central transfusion center that will coordinate, manage and monitor the national blood system programs is necessary for ensuring access to safe and quality blood and blood products for all Ukrainian patients. Since May 2018, the Blood Safety and Donation Unit of the Public Health Center has been responsible for this sector. All regional and municipal blood transfusion centers must be accredited and comply with EU standards. Hospital blood banks will be established across the country and will provide blood transfusion services, estimate the demand, monitor proper storage and appropriate use of blood and blood components, as well as reactions in patients.

The national blood system development plan also provides for the establishment of a National Blood Donor Registry.