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Quality management in all areas of blood transfusion is crucial for the provision of a safe and adequate blood supply. In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an innovative global programme, “Quality Management Programme (QMP) for Blood Transfusion Services” in order to assist and support Member States in the development of quality systems for blood transfusion services.
The QMP has been developed as a lon- term programme in collaboration with WHO Regions, Collaborating Centres, and Experts in Transfusion Medicine. The major components of QMP are: (1) Identification and strengthening of regional quality training centers; (2) Organization of Quality Management Training (QMT) courses with a well-structured curriculum; (3) Development of advocacy, training, and learning materials to support the implementation of the programme; (4) Establishment of external quality assessment schemes (EQAS); and (5) Creation of effective quality networks. Activities in this programme have been carried-out in all of the WHO regions since 2000.
Consultations for the planning and evaluation of QMP were conducted in 2000. Global endorsement and support was obtained from the WHO Regions as well as from the experts. Implementation of QMP includes training of blood transfusion staff as quality managers with responsibility for establishing quality systems at national level. Regional quality training centres, each with dedicated QMT coordinators, have been identified as focal points for this network. Key achievements in this programme have been: (1) The conduct of 20 QMT courses in three years (2) Ttraining of 65 global and regional facilitators; (3) Training of 350 quality managers from 121 countries; (4) Introduction of the programme to 240 directors of blood transfusion services; and (5) Increased participation of centres, now 257, in WHO-EQA Schemes.
The establishment and implementation of quality management systems in blood transfusion services through this collaborative programme will lead to improvements in the safety, adequacy, and quality of blood for all patients requiring blood transfusion. This will be a major step towards achieving the ultimate goal of global blood safety.
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