Japan aids safer blood transfusion

Mar 5 (IL) Work began on the Japanese aided National Blood Transfusion Centre (NBTC) at Elvitigala Mawatha on Thursday, with the foundation laying ceremony hosted by the Healthcare, Nutrition and Uva Wellassa Development Ministry (MHN&UWD).

Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and Japanese Ambassador Akio Suda laid the foundation stone for the building at 555/5 D, Elvitigala Mawatha.

The new NBTC is part of the "Project for the Improvement of National Blood Transfusion Services" (NBTS) financed by Japan under the its Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan of 1,508 million yen through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

The project is aimed at increasing the supply of blood and blood products, improving safety, establishing an efficient blood transfusion network and strengthening the technical capability of the NBTS staff, thus upgrading the basic blood supply system and the level of health services.

The NBTS would increase the capacity of blood collection by 200% and provide faster and safer services.

The project will also provide equipment and material to the NBTC, the provincial blood banks, regional blood banks, and relevant training.

The training aimed at enhancing the management of blood transfusion, will be conducted in alliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with international standards, and is to adopt infectious disease-control measures as well.

The project is expected to be completed within a year.

In addition, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be involved in providing counterpart training in Japan for 44 health-related officials under its technical cooperation programme