The regional perspective

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) recognizes that ‘health security is a fundamental and indispensable prerequisite to global, regional, national and individual development’.

The IFRC’s health security priorities include:

  • improving local, regional and international capacity to respond to disasters and public health emergencies
  • increasing health promotion, disease prevention and disaster risk reduction in vulnerable communities
  • increasing HIV/AIDS programming and advocacy

People have the right to expect that blood and blood products supplied to them are gathered and provided in a safe and sustainable way. The integrity with which blood programmes are administered is critical to building and maintaining community trust. The safety and integrity of a nation’s blood supply is fundamental to the security of its health system in order to:

  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

The IFRC supports the establishment of safe and sustainable blood systems, with a particular emphasis on voluntary non-remunerated blood donation (VNRBD). Voluntary non-paid blood donors, particularly those who donate blood regularly, provide the foundation for a safe, sustainable blood supply that meets the needs of all patients requiring blood transfusion.

Blood transfusion is an essential part of modern health care and a government has a duty to provide good healthcare for its citizens. A blood programme is a serious commitment in terms of financial and human resources.

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies work with their countries’ ministries of health to determine the best way to use the strength of the IFRC. This strength is often in the area of education or mobilization of populations towards voluntary blood donation.

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