Currently the blood situation in Egypt represents two main challenges:
- Quantity – The recurring insufficient blood supplies; and
- Quality – The presence of unsafe blood.
At present, the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS), which is the main entity following the standards and procedures of the World Health Organization (WHO) and mainly relying on voluntary non-remunerated blood donation, collects only approximately 30% of the whole blood supply for the country.
According to NBTS, total blood donation for 2011 is 1.21% of the population, which barely reaches the minimum 1% needed to meet the basic needs of a country (WHO). There are four types of blood donors: family replacement, paid, obliged and regular voluntary donors. Among all these four, regular voluntary donors are the safest source of blood according to the world health organization. Moreover, there is a high risk of unsafe blood in Egypt due to family replacements or obliged donors which represent a high-risk target group. As a result, many blood recipients are contaminated with Hepatitis B or C Virus and other transfusion transmitted diseases.
The solution to the blood issue in Egypt can be resolved by providing easy access to safe blood by any Egyptian when needed. This can be achieved by:
- 100% voluntary non-remunerated blood donation through communication, education and motivation of voluntary donors and diminishing the need for family replacements and obliged donors.
- Testing of all donated blood, and reinforcing the regulations, monitoring and standards on a national level.
- Ensuring appropriate clinical use of blood by medical staff.