On the 6th of November 2013, Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization inaugurated as WHO Collaborating Center for Research & Training on Blood Safety.
The designation was based on more than five years collaboration between IBTO and WHO which resulted in several joint training programs and provision of technical advisory for countries in need.
In the ceremony, Dr. Fariba Seighali, IBTO Manager of International Affairs Department, briefed participants on the procedures taken by IBTO to designate as WHO Collaborating Center.
In her opening speech, Dr. Jihaneh Tawilah, WHO Representative in I.R of Iran congratulated IBTO for this achievement and pointed out that as IBTO has long experience, she is confident that IBTO can play a significant role at both regional and global levels to promote blood safety.
“Unfortunately, in our region, only two countries (Iran and United Arab Emirates) have declared 100% non-remunerated voluntary blood donations. The other countries of region still depend mainly on family or replacement donation”. She added.
Dr. Jihaneh Tawillah handed over the WHO designation letter to Dr. Ali Akbar Pourfatollah (IBTO Managing Director).
“The rate of donations per 1000 population in Iran was 27 in 2012; almost 2.5 fold more than median rate of middle-income countries and the highest rate among 23 Member countries of Eastern Mediterranean Region. Also the prevalence of Transfusion Transmitted Infections in Iran has the lowest rate among countries in this region” Said Dr. Pourfatollah.
At the end of ceremony the plaque of WHO Collaborating Center was unveiled by Dr. Tawilah and Dr. Pourfatollah.