The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s National Blood Transfusion Service wins international award


Sri Lanka’s National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) has beaten 28 developing countries to win an international award as the ‘Best Transfusion Service’.

The certificate, presented by the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT), will be accepted by the Sri Lankan team headed by Dr. Ananda Gunasekara, former NBTS Director, now Deputy Director-General of Medical Services as well as current NBTS Director Dr. Vijith Gunesekara at the 23rd ISBT Congress to be held today (July 8 ) in Cancun, Mexico.

The competition was announced at the 2011 ISBT Congress, held in Taipei, Taiwan. Request for applications were announced on the official ISBT website and each applicant had to answer a structured essay type questionnaire, providing references, publications, and data to support their submission.

Each submission is evaluated on all aspects that accounted for the improvement of the relevant transfusion service.
NBTS Sri Lanka, successfully proving its ability, prevailed over the other applicants and won the ISBT award for developing countries 2012. The victory has been announced on the website of ISBT http://www.isbtweb.org/news/article/winner-isbt-award-for-developing-countries/, according to an NBTS press release.

The Sri Lankan team has also been invited to present a talk at the Central Body Meeting of the ISBT Congress. While at the three-day parallel educational sessions, the team will conduct an educational review on the improvement of education and training programmes of the NBTS Sri Lanka. Funding for an educational symposium of international standards to be held in Sri Lanka enabling the participation of professionals engaged in the Transfusion Service has also been granted by the ISBT.

The ISBT is the premier international professional society encompassing transfusion and transplantation science and medicine. With a long and respected history of achievement, its current strategic vision is:  ‘Facilitating knowledge about transfusion medicine to serve the interests of donors and patients’. Founded in 1935, ISBT brings together more than 2,000 professionals from over 97 countries.

Meanwhile, the NBTS Sri Lanka is a special campaign run under the Health Ministry with a distinguished history of more than 50 years. There is a network of more than 90 blood banks scattered across the country and the National Blood Centre at Narahenpita acts as the operational headquarters.

Under the ‘Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dakma’ of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the leadership of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena and the supervision of Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu and Director-General of Health Services Dr. Ajith Mendis the NBTS is upgraded continuously.

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