Publication Date



blood transfusion, developing countries, public health, blood-borne pathogens, anemia, infection


While transfusion of blood and blood products is instinctively linked to the provision of emergent care, blood and blood products are also routinely used for the treatment of subacute and chronic conditions. Despite the efforts of the World Health Organization and others, developing countries are faced with a three-part problem when it comes to access to and delivery of transfusions: insufficient supply, excessive demand, and inadequate quality of available supply. Developing countries rely heavily on replacement and remunerated donors rather than voluntary nonremunerated donors due to concerns regarding donation- and transfusion-transmitted infection as well as local and cultural beliefs. While increased awareness of HIV and improved testing techniques have jointly reduced infection-related apprehensions and improved the quality of available blood and blood products, continued efforts are warranted to bolster testing for other bloodborne pathogens. Similarly, although prevalence rates of anemia are high in some areas of the world, success in adequate widespread management of these conditions has been limited. One of the keys to expanding access to high-quality blood and blood products is thus to improve medical management of conditions that would otherwise require transfusion. Through a three-pronged approach to address quantity, quality, and demand, developing countries can enable themselves to build toward self-sufficient blood management services and increased independence from the support of international organizations.




August 23rd, 2020


October 6th, 2020


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