Voice of America's 'Health Chat' programme on blood transfusion

News article 15 Aug 2013

LSTM's Professor Imelda Bates participated in a discussion on blood transfusion which was broadcasted live on Voice of America (VOA). The programme 'Health Chat' is a regular live call-in programme that addresses health issues in Africa.  The show puts listeners directly in touch with guest medical professionals.  It includes a weekly feature spot, health news and comments from listeners on health issues. The programme of 13th August compared blood transfusion practices in the US, South Africa and poorer countries in Africa.

To try and understand some of the challenges of blood donation Health Chat invited Professor Imelda Bates as principal investigator of the T-REC consortium, Dr Traci Mondoro from the Division of Blood Division and  Resources of the American Heart, Lung and Blood institute (NHLBI) and also Dr Greg Bellairs from the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service in South Africa to discuss why shortages exist and how stocks of blood should be monitored and made available to communities in Africa.

Professor Bates explained that “It is a travesty that once they [The patient] gets to the hospital there is no blood in the bank for them… in most African countries shortages [of blood] are a major problem and there are many preventable deaths because there is not enough blood available in the transfusion service”

T-REC is an international consortium of academics and health practitioners who want to improve blood transfusion services across Africa. T-REC is a four-year, EU-funded project with partners in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

The full panel interview can be found here.