Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Malaysia leads the way in blood donation practices

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: While the world is making slow progress towards 100% free and voluntary blood donation, Malaysia achieved one of the highest percentage increases in this area, according to the World Health Organisation's global survey on blood collection and blood testing practices.
The survey, released in conjunction with World Blood Donor Day today, revealed that 50% of blood in Malaysia in 2002 were free and given voluntarily, rising to 99% in 2004.
Most developing countries still depend on paid donors or family member donors.
The survey also showed that 56 countries did not screen all of their donated blood for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and syphilis, because of scarcity of or unaffordable test kits, lack of infrastructure and shortage of trained staff.
A spokesman for the National Blood Bank said Malaysia had never paid donors, while replacement blood donors (family members) constitute less than 1% of all donors.
“Although we have seasonal drop in blood supply, it is generally sustainable,” she said, adding that Malaysia has one of the best screening systems in the world.

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