Blood Safety: Ensuring safe and sufficient blood supply in Kenya.

Global Communities, in partnership with the Africa Society for Blood Transfusion Kenya (AfSBTK) launched the Technical Assistance for the Implementation and Expansion of Blood Safety Activities in Kenya program on 27th October 2010. This initiative, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aimed to strengthen the national blood transfusion system to ensure safe and sufficient blood supply in Kenya.

Over a period of five years, Global Communities and AfSBT provided expert advice, technical assistance and support to the Kenyan National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and its affiliates to ensure an adequate and timely supply of safe blood to blood products to health facilities in Kenya. Our work focused on the areas of infrastructure, collection, testing, utilization, training and capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.
Global Communities designed a three-pronged strategy to meet the program goal, which included:
Establishing and assisting a Technical Working Group (TWG) made up of stakeholders in blood safety to guide the implementation of uniform policies and guidelines that are in line with national and international standards.
Supporting the decentralization of NBTS services by building the capacity of the Regional Blood Transfusion Centres (RBTCs) and satellites.
Strengthening the technical and institutional capacity of AfSBTK to enable it to become a local technical counterpart to the NBTS.

This strategy reinforced the capacity of local organizations to provide quality sustainable services. By strengthening local actors, Global Communities helped to ensure an integrated, participatory, multi-sectoral approach that reached all levels of NBTS system, resulting in the strengthening of the overall blood transfusion system. The approach reflected the strategy advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to achieve effective, cost-efficient and safe national blood supply systems and was in line with national priorities in addressing the HIV epidemic, thus meeting the goals of the President’s Emergency Plan.
Key priorities for the first year of this program included:
Establishing the TWG.
Instituting an information management system and associate M&E system within NBTS.
Strengthening the administrative structure of NBTS;
Assisting NBTS to develop a strategic plan to guide their work.
Reviewing blood safety policies and procedures to ensure that they are in line with international standards.
Improving donor notification system.