The Third Meeting of the Heads of Blood Transfusion Organizations/ Authorities of ECO Member States was held in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, on 14-15 February 2013 hosted by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan in collaboration with the ECO Secretariat. Delegates from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan (Host), the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Turkey participated in the Meeting.
His Excellency Dr. Elsever Agaev, The Deputy Health Minister of Azerbaijan inaugurated the Meeting. While welcoming the delegates of the ECO Member States, other guests and representatives of mass media, he highlighted targets and achievements of the National Blood Programme of Azerbaijan.
H.E. Dr. Shamil Aleskerov, the ECO Secretary General, in his statement at the inaugural session, emphasized the role and importance of the cooperation in the field of blood transfusion to ensure provision of fair access for all patients to safe, quality and efficacious blood and blood products for transfusion in all spheres of medicine. Highlighting the current activities and cooperation within ECO region in this scope he underlined the significance of the establishment of the ECO Blood Safety Network as one of grounds for relevant regional cooperation.
The participants of the Meeting reviewed the current blood transfusion situation in their respective countries, exchanged ideas and views on the Voluntary Donor Recruitment and Retention, Transfusion Medicine, Application of IT to Blood Services, Plasma Fractionation, ECO Blood Safety Network, etc. The Meeting stressed the need for strengthening efficient and sustainable National Blood Programmes with appropriate government commitment and support, national blood policies and legislative measures, integrated within the national health care system. The delegates also discussed the problems of development strategies, guidelines, norms and standards, technical and sufficiency issues relating to the entire blood transfusion process from donor to patient to ensure blood and blood products safety.
In the final Statement, the Meeting requested the ECO Member States to:
i. Provide safe and sufficient blood based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donation to the citizens of ECO countries and stressed the importance of establishing regional collaboration among Member States.
ii. Put the blood transfusion medicine issue on the agenda of the next meeting of the ECO Health Ministers
iii. Hold a workshop on application of IT in blood transfusion services in one of the ECO Member States.
iv. Hold the Meetings of ECO Heads of Blood Transfusion Organizations/Centers annually instead of bi-annually.
v. Enhance collaboration in the field of plasma fractionation among the ECO Member States.
vi. Propose to the Meeting of the Health Ministers to consider the possibility of the establishment of a joint plasma fractionation facility in one of the Member States the benefit of the
vii. Nominate/regularly update the information of their focal points on ECO Blood Transfusion Cooperation giving all relevant particulars, including Name, Position, Tele, Fax, and E-mail addresses at the earliest.
viii. Formulate a standard template for the preparation of country reports by ECO Member States for future meetings.
The next 4th Meeting of the ECO Heads of Blood Transfusion Organizations/Authorities will be organized in Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan, in 2015.