Every surgeon puts on a green gown, straps a mask around their mouth and nose and starts an operation with the assurance that there is an adequate amount of blood to save the patient’s life. What happens when the blood bank is nearly empty?
Ghana National Blood Service
The National Blood Service (NBS) is a new agency under the Ministry of Health and located at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. The agency is responsible for ensuring a coordinated national approach to the provision of safe, adequate and efficient blood and blood products; making it timely, accessible and affordable to all patients requiring blood transfusion therapy in both public and private health care institutions across the country.
Out of the 250,000 pints of blood needed yearly, only 66% is normally donated and stored. Perennial shortages therefore plague the blood service due to inadequate numbers of voluntary donors. Currently a three-day wait for blood is the norm. Some regional hospitals have no blood in their banks.