Blood Safety

Since the transfusion of blood or its products is an extremely efficient way of transmitting HIV, screening blood and blood products for HIV before using them is an essential public health intervention as it directly reduces possible accidental exposure of patients to HIV. Swaziland has established a blood donor recruitment department, and developed a blood safety policy in 2000 and guidelines in 2001. Swaziland uses WHO clinical guidelines on the use of blood and has trained phlebotomists. The country has initiated a voluntary blood donor system targeting school children aged 15 to 19 years. The strategy helped to increase the number of blood units collected from 6,000 to 7,700 units by 2007. Swaziland has attained 100% blood safety.