Illustrative image (Source: Vietnam Red Cross Society)
Hanoi (VNA) - Health experts from eight Asian countries discussed ways to develop voluntary non-remunerated blood donation at a two-day international workshop that opened on November 9 in Hanoi.

The event, entitled "The second Asian meeting for self-sufficiency of blood and blood products based on voluntary non-remunerated donation," has been jointly organised by the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) and Japan's Nagasaki University.

"Developing and maintaining a safe and sustainable source of voluntary blood donors is an essential task for each nation's health sector," Vice Minister of Health Le Quang Cuong said at the workshop.

Cuong said Vietnam has achieved remarkable success in increasing the volume of blood collection and number of donors over the past two decades.

The participants of the Hanoi workshop will discuss measures to develop voluntary blood donation and future cooperation measures between countries to ensure adequate numbers of blood donors and transfusion safety. They will also exchange experiences in selecting blood donors and increasing the number of repeat donors.

Lessons learnt from other countries, especially Japan where all blood donation come from voluntary donors, will be important steps for Vietnam to achieve 100 percent blood donation by voluntary donors by 2020, NIHBT Director Nguyen Anh Tri said.

The health ministry's statistics show that till date, the country has collected more than nine million units (350ml each) of blood, of which more than 1 million units were received in 2014. Last year, 96 percent of the blood collection came from voluntary donors and the blood donation rate was 1.17 percent of the country population.

More than 360 blood units were collected from a blood donation festival that was jointly organised by the Vietnam Red Cross Society and Prudential Vietnam on November 7.-VNA