The Safe Blood for Africa Foundation support for the international certification of a Hospital Blood service in Cameroon
“The Yaoundé Central Hospital was awarded an accreditation for its Blood Bank on 15th August 2019, by the Africa Society of Blood Transfusion- AFSBT”.Public Health Minister, Manaouda Malachie broke the news on Twitter, congratulating the hospital’s management for this milestone. The accreditation comes as a reward to the hospital management for long years of strides to render the services of the blood bank of international standards. The international accreditation certificate was officially handed over to the Director General of the Yaoundé Central Hospital by a representative of the African society for blood transfusion in the presence of Prof Claude Tayou Tagny, the country project coordinator of the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation, Wednesday October 30, 2019 in Yaoundé.
Congratulating the Government of Cameroon for the accreditation, the US Embassy in Cameroon said in a release; “The Blood Bank of the Yaoundé Central Hospital has received step 1 Certification from the African society for blood transfusion Step-wise accreditation programme for demonstrating that the Blood Bank meets quality and operational requirements for blood transfusion facilities in Africa. We encourage the Ministry of Public Health and Cameroon’s National blood transfusion service to implement quality management systems…” It is worth mentioning that this international certification is the first to be given to a hospital in Central and West African Subregions. This recognition, reports say is the fruit of a collaboration between the US Government and that of Cameroon which seeks to strengthen the health sector and ameliorate the health conditions of the Cameroonian population.
After a Blood safety assessment and a GAP analysis of the certified blood service in Cameroon, it was agreed in 2013, with the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation™ (SBFA) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that facility will be assisted to work towards meeting the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for Blood Safety. The blood bank will be expected to serve as regional blood transfusion centre of excellence. In 2015, CDC/PEPFAR started to support the facility 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 the hospital blood bank using the AfSBT Self-Assessment tool. The assessment was conducted in February 2016. Based on the results of the assessment, the Safe Blood for Africa Foundation started a mentorship programme in July 2016 to assist the staff 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 were essential to ensure progress towards AfSBT accreditation and refinement of the knowledge, skills and competency acquired during in the previous training conducted in the hospital blood bank since 2012. Finally, a follow-up assessment was conducted in February 2017 (one year later) to measure progresses made before the formal assessment of the AfSBT.
An accreditation of a Blood Bank is issued after an evaluation by the accrediting body. The evaluation is entirely dependent on the accrediting body, and based on three criteria;
Stage 1: Certification
Meeting minimum quality and operational requirements
Stage 2: Certification
Meeting intermediate quality and operational requirements
Stage 3: Full accreditation
Meeting quality and operational requirements at international standards
The accreditation improves the international reputation and visibility of the Health facility and recognize that the products are made in a quality manner.
From the left to the right: Prof Claude Tayou Tagny (Country Project Coordinator, SBFA Foundation), Dr Mohammed Farouk (MD, Africa Society for Blood Transfusion), Dr Ngo Sack Francoise (The Head of the Blood service), Prof Mbanya Dora ( SBFA consultant), Dr Tapko Jean Baptiste ( Education Manager, Africa Society for Blood Transfusion)
From the left to the right: Dr Mohammed Farouk (MD, Africa Society for Blood Transfusion), The Representant of the Minister of the Public Health, Cameroon; The Director of the Yaoundé Central Hospital, Cameroon.