Coping with COVID-19 pandemic in blood transfusion services in West Africa: the need to restrategize


Hematol., Transfus. Cell Ther.




ABSTRACT Introduction The West African region has been lagging in terms of the availability of, and accessibility to, safe blood. According to the 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) Global Status Report on Blood Safety and Availability, none of the West African countries met the WHO benchmark of 10 blood units per 1000 inhabitants. This study is aimed at discussing the blood transfusion status of West African countries in the pre-COVID-19 period and analyze the capacity to respond to the COVID-19 blood crisis, as well as to outline the panacea. Methods Secondary data were extracted from published reports, journal articles and web pages, reviewed and analyzed. Result All the West African countries have recorded confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. The confirmed cases have reached 55,697, with 1069 deaths and a fatality rate of 1.9%, as of June 17, 2020. The assessed countries lagged in most of the WHO benchmarks for effective blood transfusion services. Conclusion Blood transfusion services in the West African region lacked the basic benchmark practice and policy, are not coordinated and may find it hard to tackle the blood transfusion crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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