TTI-NRL leads nat’l meeting on improving blood safety strategies

The Transfusion Transmissible Infections – National Reference Laboratory (TTI-NRL) recently conducted a Consultative Meeting on the Implementation of the Transfusion Transmissible Infections Serology External Quality Assessment Program and Referral for Validation of Nonreactive Blood Units on February 19-21, 2019 at the Ciudad Christhia Resort 9 Waves in San Mateo, Rizal.

The meeting was attended by DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire, Public Health Services Team, Dr. Elizabeth Y. Arcellana-Nuqui, Chairman of the National Council for Blood Services – Technical Committee, Ms. Marites B. Estrella, the DOH – National Voluntary Blood Services Program Manager (DOH-NVBSP), Dr. Norielyn M. Evangelista and Ms. Ailene Espiritu from the Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau, and 162 representatives from the different Blood Service Facilities in the country.

New regulations from the Department of Health now requires Blood Service Facilities to participate twice a year in the EQAS program for Transfusion Transmissible Infections and must consistently receive a passing rate.

In addition to this, a percentage of nonreactive samples from Blood Service Facilities shall be validated using Nucleic Acid Testing by the TTI-NRL as part of the quality assurance strategy of the DOH – NVBSP.

These strategies aims to ensure that all Blood Service Facilities in the country are providing quality results in their testing to achieve the provision of 100% safe blood as mandated under Republic Act 7719 or the National Blood Services Act of 1994.

by Kenneth Punzalan, Transfusion Transmissible Infections – National Reference Laboratory