The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has organised a blood donation exercise to create awareness on its mandate to regulate blood and blood derivatives as essential medicines.
Speaking at the event, held at the premises of the FDA, in Accra, on Friday, Mr Hudu Mogtari, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA said: “Blood and its derivatives are life-saving therapies for countless trauma cases; including accidents, surgery, haemorrhage during labour, delivery and postpartum.”
Mr Mogtari said: “In World Health Assembly resolutions 63:12, 58:13, 28:72, member states were admonished to make available sufficient supplies of Blood and Blood derivatives of assured quality and safety in the face of known and emerging threats to public health by instituting stringent regulatory controls along the entire transfusion chain.”
“The FDA is encouraged by the Public Health Act 2012 (Act 851) and a Memorandum of Understanding with NSBG to pursue its mandate of protecting public health and safety,” he noted.
Dr Edwin Nkansah, the Head of Biological Products Units of the FDA, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that, the WHO enlisted blood and its derivatives products as part of biological products, which had also been captured as an essential medicine.
Dr Nkansah explained: “Essential medicines are medicines that need to be available, of good quality, and affordable, therefore, blood which falls under this category, needs to be regulated by the FDA, as part of the Authority’s mandate.
“What we do is try to regulate the processes of coming out with blood products and blood components that are safe and effective,” he said.
Dr Nkansah noted that the regulation process was started in 2008 to ensure that there was no wastage in terms of the blood collected.
“The FDA has been working with the National Blood Services Ghana (NBSG) to ensure that every unit of blood or blood component has been collected and tested,” Mr Mogtari said.
He said after the collection of blood, when intended for transfusion, the two institutions ensured that it had been prepared, stored and distributed in compliance with internationally recognised standards and specifications.
Meanwhile, Mr Stephen Danso, a Senior blood donor at the Southern Area Blood Centre of the NBSG, said the blood donation drive was necessary because there was the need to always store blood so as to efficiently handle emergencies.
Mr Danso told the donors that they could donate blood after every four months.