DUBAI: The World Health Organization's (WHO) Blood Transfusion Safety programme in the Department for Health Systems Policies and Workforce, WHO headquarters (WHO/BTS), has convened the WHO Global Consultation on Haemovigilance in Dubai.The three-day event is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region at Meydan Hotel and attracted senior officials from the Ministry of Health, Red Crescent Authority (RCA), the Higher National Committee for Blood Transfusion and other departments. In his speech which was read out by acting undersecretary of the ministry of health Dr. Salim Abdul Rehman Al-Darmaki, the Acting Minister of Health Abdul Rehman Al Owais emphasized the UAE's efforts to promote blood transfusion safety under directives from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Their Highnesses, the Supreme Council members and Ruler of the emirates to maintain the UAE's leadership in this field. This consultation is being jointly organized by WHO-HQ/Geneva, Sharjah Blood Transfusion and Research Center and the Government of the United Arab Emirates in collaboration with the International Haemovigilance Network and the International Society of Blood Transfusion. This Global Consultation on Haemovigilance involved participants from developing and developed countries, including those with established systems (different models of haemovigilance systems will be highlighted) and those with plans to start haemovigilance. A total of around 150 participants were invited to the consultation from over 50 countries representing all regions of WHO. The participants include senior policy makers from ministries of health, and representatives from key institutions, agencies and stakeholders in establishing haemovigilance systems - at national, regional or hospital level, e.g. blood services, public health institutions, hospitals, regulatory agencies and professional bodies. Partners from key intergovernmental and international organizations working in the area of haemovigilance will also be invited, including the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare-Council of Europe, European Commission, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-PEPFAR, Africa Society for Blood Transfusion, AABB, Asia Pacific Blood Network, Arab Society of Blood Transfusion Services, South Asian Association of Transfusion Medicine and Latin American Association of Transfusion Medicine. The methodology of the consultation will include presentations, group discussions, and the identification of priorities for action and recommendations to different stakeholders. Broadly, three groups will be constituted for discussion on: 1) strategies for setting up or strengthening national haemovigilance systems based on appropriate models; 2) global mechanism/s for networking countries and organizations for sharing of data, information and experiences on haemovigilance; and 3) a standardized definition and tools for global haemovigilance reporting. WHO Global Consultation on Haemovigilance aims to highlight the importance of national haemovigilance systems and international networking for global blood safety and availability; assess the nature and magnitude of current challenges and barriers to the implementation of haemovigilance systems, particularly in developing countries; provide a platform for countries to share experiences and learn lessons for developing national haemovigilance systems in a stepwise manner; define strategies for developing haemovigilance systems, including the harmonized reporting of transfusion-related adverse reactions and events, the collection, analysis and use of national data for continuous learning and improvement in the safety of blood donors, blood products and patients; build on existing international networks, discuss creation of global mechanism/s for networking countries and organizations to share data, information and experiences on haemovigilance; advocate and support the establishment of national haemovigilance, systems; harmonize global data collection as well as to organize joint activities and function as a forum for dialogue, advice and information gathering for all key stakeholders.
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