Health minister: Blood bank to expand

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PAPUA New Guinea will soon have its own blood bank, with all administrative and other functions transferred from non-governmental organisations such as  Red Cross PNG and St John Ambulance to the Department of Health.
Speaking in Boroko, NCD, yesterday to mark World Blood Donor Day, Health Minister Sasa Zibe said a blood policy was before cabinet for its endorsement.
“Once approved, the blood bank will have its own director and administrative officers,” Zibe said.
“Blood cannot be imported from overseas.
“The blood service is an essential part of any health care system in the world.”
The minister said the national government was “serious about strengthening the blood service in PNG”.
“The process of taking back the national blood transfusion service has started.”
Meanwhile, World Blood Donor Day is celebrated globally on June 14 where people are invited to donate blood.
Head of National Blood Transfusion Service Dr Merrilyn Mathias said 40 bags of blood were collected yesterday, 60 short of their target.
She attributed the shortfall to the weather.
“There is a shortage of blood supply throughout the country and we always want to collect as much blood as possible during such events,” Mathias said.
Anyone between the age of 16 and 60, and weighing 50kg and above, could donate blood.