A STATE-OF-THE-ART facility aimed at improving the safety of blood supply in the country was opened by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in Johannesburg yesterday.
The Transfusion Medicine Training Centre (TMTC) was launched by the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) and Western Province Blood Transfusion Services (WPBTS).
Ravi Reddy, SANBS chief operations officer, said: "The training and development of staff in blood collection, banking and transfusion is important for the country, thus the initiation of this programme. We need to collect at least 3000 units of blood every day in order to meet the requirements of the country.
"We operate 79 blood banks in eight provinces. In order for SANBS to provide safe blood, we need competent staff. The TMTC will help in training staff and healthcare workers in public and private institutions," Reddy said.
Though the TMTC was officially opened yesterday, it has been in operation since last April.
Fifty people have already benefited from the programme and another 50 are to begin training in April. The multi-million training facility was made possible with the help of the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.
Motsoaledi said: "The issue of blood safety in our country is an important component of our fight to defeat the scourge of HIV-Aids. I am pleased that organisations such as the blood services have responded to this clarion call by establishing this training centre to strengthen capacity to ensure the safe supply of blood and blood products to patients."