Back in Turkey: EPOS kick starts EU project to support blood transfusion system

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The transfusion of blood and its products saves millions of lives worldwide every day.  Access and timely availability of blood and blood products is essential to meet the demand. WHO's overall goal is for all countries to obtain all blood supplies from voluntary, unpaid donors by 2020. Governments must therefore promote policies and measures that create the infrastructure necessary to achieve this goal. The Turkish blood supply system has long been hospital-based and decentralized.  In 2007, the new Blood and Blood Products Bill was published describing a centralised blood system with Regional Blood Centres (RBCs), Blood Donation Centres (DCs) and Transfusion Centres (TCs).  Despite efforts made to strengthen this system, there are still challenges in its overall functionality, especially in ensuring sufficient blood supply through voluntary, non-remunerated donations. From March 2019, EPOS will implement an EU-funded project to improve the blood transfusion management system. Together with its partners Hemosoft (Turkey) and Sanquin (Netherlands), the consortium will provide support in the priority areas of quality, self-sufficiency and appropriate clinical use of blood and blood components. The project has a total budget of € 4.8 million and will be implemented for 36 months covering the whole of Turkey.