The U.S. Embassy, in cooperation with the National Blood Transfusion Center (NBTC), conducted a five-day workshop to enhance blood safety in the Lao PDR. The workshop took place February 27 to March 3 in conjunction with the Lao Red Cross National Annual Meeting in Vientiane Province. More than sixty laboratory technicians, nurses, and directors of blood centers from all eighteen provinces participated.
The training focused on implementation of previous activities and the National Strategic Plan for 2016-2020. In particular, trainers focused on practical methods to ensure quality and safety in the blood system, improve quality of services, and strengthen capacity of the blood center staff in each province, by working together with national and international organizations on blood safety. Workshops such as this will help the Lao PDR establish a quality assurance blood safety policy and develop quality assurance teams in each province that will audit and ensure safe practices and safe blood supply throughout the country.
Vice President of Lao Red Cross Associate Dr. Sing Manolath, Director of Blood Transfusion Center Dr. Chanthala Souksakone, and Director of the U.S. Pacific Command Joint Blood Program Office, Lieutenant Commander Steven Clifford, attended the opening ceremony. During his remarks, Dr. Sing Manolath noted the importance of safe and reliable blood collection and processing to minimize harm to the recipients.
This program on blood safety for the Lao Red Cross is part of the continuing partnership between the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Pacific Command, and the National Blood Transfusion Center to assist in meeting Laos’ National Socioeconomic Development Plan and Millennium Development Goals.