Japanese Red Cross Society Supports Laos

Over the past 20 years, the Japanese Red Cross Society has contributed over US$2.4 million to the Lao Red Cross for the development of infrastructure and provisions of medical equipment.

The assistance from the Japanese Red Cross Society has also included financial support, equipment, vehicles and scholarships every year for the Lao Red Cross, the National Blood Centre and the Champassak Blood Centre.

The amount of assistance provided by the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRC) to Laos was disclosed at the celebration of the 20th anniversary of cooperation between the Lao Red Cross and Japanese Red Cross Society for the blood programme which was held in Vientiane Capital on Nov 23.

The blood mobilization campaign was initiated in 1995 by the Japanese Red Cross Society through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The project implemented safety blood services around country.

Blood used for transfusions was almost all collected by hospitals from paid and family donors with exceptional contributions from voluntary non-remunerated donors.

The nine years of phase I cooperation started with the testing of all donations and the promotion of voluntary donations in Vientiane.

The long-term objective of this cooperation was to secure safe and adequate blood supplies nationally and to strengthen the Lao National Blood Transfusion Centre (NBTC) so that it could provide blood services and function as the reference laboratory with the strategy titled “From the centre to the region,” said Mr Masahiro Satake, Director General of the Central Blood Institute, Japanese Red Cross Blood Services Headquarters.

JRC representatives reside in Laos frequently in order to closely communicate with each other. During this period, the Lao government established its national blood policy, National Transfusion Committee, and cost recovery system, said Mr Satake.

Lao blood service promotes voluntary donations dramatically, enforced the screening test, and stared components preparation in Vientiane and eight provinces.

Phase II cooperation started in 2012 with the aim of strengthening the quality control/quality assurance system.

The NBTC, in collaboration with JRC delegates, has developed standard operational procedures (SOPs) and manuals for each stage of the process from collection to distribution.

Blood programmes vary from country to country depending on the development of the health care system, regulations, the economic situation and local practices of donations.

However, the objective of the blood programme is the same, namely, to secure an adequate supply of safe, quality blood based on VNRBD (Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donors) for patients in need of transfusions.

Each blood service is responsible for making the best effort to achieve this objective based on the environment and resources given.

Source: Lao News Agency