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Cameroon Receives New Vehicles to Boost Blood Transfusion Services

Cameroon Receives New Vehicles to Boost Blood Transfusion Services

Paru le mardi, 12 mars 2024 12:48

Minister of Public Health, Manaouda Malachie, received a fleet of 23 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles on Monday, March 11, for Centre National de Transfusion Sanguine (CNTS), the agency responsible for the supply and accessibility of blood products across Cameroon. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Resident Representative in Cameroon, Fabrice Laviolette, who handed over a sample of the keys, stated that the total value of the equipment is $712,322 (over XAF427 million FCFA at current dollar value).

According to Professor Dora Mbanya, General Manager of the CNTS, donating these vehicles marks a significant step towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s operations. “With these vehicles, we can expand our awareness campaigns, organize and run mobile blood drives, and carry out and facilitate supervisory visits to blood transfusion services nationwide,” she said. The vehicles are intended to bolster the operational capabilities of the CNTS at both central and regional levels. Since its establishment in 2019, until it became operational in 2021, the CNTS has faced challenges in fully executing its missions, primarily due to a lack of necessary vehicles for efficient blood collection and distribution, especially in a context marked by a shortage of regular, voluntary donors.

Manaouda Malachie emphasized that this equipment will allow the CNTS to more effectively work in the field and communities. He urged for the wise use of these vehicles and for them to be doubly secured to prevent theft. “These are not symbols of prestige or private property, but public property entrusted to you by the government for professional use only. Each of these vehicles must be equipped with a geolocation device and undergo rigorous, regular maintenance,” he stressed.

The vehicles handed over constitute the first batch acquired by the Cameroon government with WHO support, as part of PRESYNATS (Projet de renforcement du système national de transfusion sanguine), a project to strengthen the national blood transfusion system. Funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) under an XAF3.6 billion loan agreement, the project aims to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with the lack of safe blood.

Official data estimates Cameroon’s annual need for blood products at 400,000 blood bags, with only 25% of these needs being met, leaving a 75% shortfall. To address this gap, a memorandum of understanding was signed on June 25, 2018, between the State of Cameroon and WHO, the project’s implementing partner. This agreement includes provisions for acquiring vehicles, including refrigerated vans, to facilitate the activities of the national blood transfusion system, operated solely by the CNTS.

Patricia Ngo Ngouem

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