Increasing adherence to HIV care by supporting the Implementation of the Blood Safety Information System (BSIS) at two Cameroonian Blood Services
After a Blood safety assessment and a GAP analysis of five blood services in Cameroon (SBFA 2013a, 2013b), it was agreed in 2013, with the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation™ (SBFA) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that as a pilot, the five hospitals in Cameroon will be assisted to work towards meeting the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for Blood Safety.
These blood banks will be expected to serve as regional blood transfusion centres of excellence. The designated hospitals were: Yaoundé Central Hospital (YCH); Douala Laquintinie Hospital (DLH): Bamenda Regional Hospital (BaRH); Buea Regional Hospital (BuRH); and University Teaching hospital Yaoundé. The last was later removed. In 2015, CDC/PEPFAR started to support Hospital Blood Banks (HBB) in Cameroon in a process towards AfSBT Step-wise Accreditation.
The system is based on an initial self-assessment as a critical step in preparation for certification and the SBFA was requested to conduct a third-party assessment of four selected HBBs using the AfSBT Self-Assessment tool. The assessments were conducted in February 2016 (SBFA 2016a). Based on the results of these assessments, the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation started a mentorship programme in July 2016 in the four Hospital Blood Banks to assist them in meeting the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Blood Safety and the Standards of AfSBT Stepwise Accreditation Programme (AfSBT, 2015) – focusing at Step 1 Certification. Mentorship support and side-by-side practical demonstrations are essential to ensure progress towards AfSBT accreditation and refinement of the knowledge, skills and competency acquired during the previous training conducted in the hospital blood banks since 2012.
The Safe Blood for Africa Foundation (SBFA) started a mentorship programme in July 2016. Mentorship support and side-by-side practical demonstrations were essential to ensure progress towards AfSBT accreditation and refinement of the knowledge, skills and competency acquired during the previous training conducted in the HBB since 2012. In the same mentorship period, and in collaboration with the Jembi Health System, the SBFA supported also the installation of a comprehensive data management and labelling system using the Blood Safety Information System (BSIS – developed with support from SBFA and CDC USA) Thanks to the technical assistance, the Blood Bank of the Yaoundé Central Hospital has received AfSBT Step 1 Certification. The Step-wise Accreditation Programme certifies HBBs that demonstrate that the Blood Bank meets quality and operational requirements for Blood Safety facilities in Africa. The information system is a reliable mechanism of data collection of HIV positive blood donors, follow-up and referral to care. It contributes to adherence to care.
In July 2021, The SBFA Cameroon office has received another ICCBBA support grant to reinforce the quality management system of the Yaoundé University Teaching Hospital Blood Service through the installation of a comprehensive data management and labelling system using the Blood Safety Information System (BSIS – developed with support from SBFA and CDC USA), the AfSBT Stepwise Accreditation, and the ISBT 128 recommendations as a framework. The SBFA has already installed the hardware system. In collaboration with the Jembi Health System, the BSIS software is being installed, the AfSBT Standard derived SOPs have been developed, and appropriate training and mentorship of the staff has been planned.
The SBFA intends to:
Assist in the implementation of an Information system
Support the implementation of a full quality management system towards AfSBT accreditation for the Yaoundé University teaching hospital
Support the maintenance of a high-level quality system in the two services
Supply the two blood services with BSIS related consumables
Installation of BSIS at the Yaoundé University Teaching Hospital