National Society Presidents from the Americas focus on Blood Banks

تم النشر: 31 أغسطس 2015 22:55 CET

On Tuesday August 25th, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Americas office held a meeting between executive staff members of several national societies in the region, including seven presidents.  The specific purpose of this meeting was to discuss Red Cross blood bank services in the region, with an emphasis on knowledge sharing between the national societies in attendance, giving way to dialogue concerning a regional vision on the subject.

In his welcoming remarks, Walter Cotte, Regional Director for Americas, stated that “the Red Cross is a worldwide reference regarding blood banks.”  Taking this as an expectation to both maintain and improve upon, there was fruitful dialogue concerning a range of subjects related to blood banks, as well as the role of the Red Cross as it pertains to these subjects.

Sustainability and voluntary donations were subjects of extensive discussion.  Effective communications and promotion, collection and distribution logistics, and relationships with strategic partners and medical centers were also part of the discussion.

The national societies in attendance were particularly interested in their counterparts’ experiences regarding blood bank services as part of the role of auxiliary to the state.  Given the varying challenges faced by each national society in the scope and reach of their services, different management models for national blood bank networks garnered significant debate.

In discussing the differences in operational circumstances, the exchange regarding each national society’s situation gave way to exploring the possibilities of regional initiatives.  Several countries expressed that the unifying of criteria and fostering altruistic donations were common focal points that could serve to establish both consensus and good practices on the basis of shared ideals.

IFRC’s role as regional support was also part of the dialogue.  The tools, resources, and guides that IFRC provides in support of national societies were all discussed, as were the shared goals with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) regarding voluntary donations.

The meeting was attended by Eduardo Rozo, board member of Colombian Red Cross, Ligia Leroux, President of the Dominican Republic Red Cross, Mónica Pesántez of the National Blood Center of the Ecuadorian Red Cross, Jean-Pierre Guiteau, President of the Haitian Red Cross, José Juan Castro, President of the Honduran Red Cross, Faustino Lainez, board member of the Honduran Red Cross, Jaime Fernández, President of the Panamanian Red Cross, Oscar Gutiérrez, President of the Nicaraguan Red Cross, Benjamín Ruiz Rodas, President of the Salvadorian Red Cross, and Anabella Folgar, President of the Guatemalan Red Cross.  In attendance for IFCR was Alexandre Claudon, Regional Coordinator for National Society Development, and Nelson Aly, Country Coordinator.