HCMC – HCMC’s Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital on Tuesday opened the country’s largest blood bank worth nearly VND100 billion to serve blood disease treatment and to supply hospitals in southern provinces.
Country’s biggest blood bank opens in HCMC
By Hien Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
Donors give blood at HCMC’s Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital’s blood bank which opened on Tuesday - Photo: Thu Hien HCMC – HCMC’s Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital on Tuesday opened the country’s largest blood bank worth nearly VND100 billion to serve blood disease treatment and to supply hospitals in southern provinces.
Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the hospital, said at the inauguration ceremony that this was the biggest blood bank in Vietnam, which will serve 70 hospitals in HCMC and others in the south.
Construction on the hospital was approved in 2003 with investment capital of VND56 billion from the Government and the city’s budgets to purchase facilities and equipment meeting the Good Manufacture Practice stipulated by the World Health Organization.
The new blood bank, with estimated capacity of 300,000 units (equivalent to 250 milliliters each) a year, has a system to preserve frozen units of rare blood types for many years. The bank has labs to study immunity hematology, bio-molecules, heredity cells and blood relationship analysis.
Binh said that to run the bank, his hospital had sent doctors and health care specialists to train in the U.S., Singapore, Belgium and France.
“This year, we target to obtain the GMP certificate for the blood bank and make it the first GMP blood bank in Vietnam,” Binh added.
The Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital also built a facility in 2002 which stores umbilical cord blood for future use. The bank can treat and preserve around 10,000 cord blood samples a year. Many obstetric hospitals such as Tu Du, Hung Vuong and International Obstetric are supplying cord blood to the bank.
The Health Ministry recently reported that Vietnam was suffering from an acute blood shortage. Blood donations come mainly from patients’ relatives and donors.
According to the ministry, hospitals need around 4,500 blood units a day for disease treatment and emergencies. However, current blood donations only satisfy 50%-60% of the demand. The blood shortage hinders treatment and checkups in the country.
Last year, around 632,902 blood units were donated, with 204,000 of them coming from HCMC.
This year, the ministry is hoping for 700,000 units. By 2015, Vietnam expects to have one million blood donations with 1% of the country’s population participating.