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For Immediate Release
December 02, 2015
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AABB Applauds APEC’s Commitment to Safety and Sustainability of the Blood Supply

Bethesda, Md. – The launch of an Asia-Pacific public private network to ensure the safety and suitability of the blood supply follows a meeting of leaders from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, forum. “This is an important step towards strengthening health systems and addressing health-related threats in this important region,” said Miriam A. Markowitz, AABB CEO and Co-Chair of the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum, or LSIF, Blood Supply Chain Partnership Training Network. The APEC Blood Supply Chain Roadmap and its implementation arm, the Partnership Training Network, or PTN, is committed to improving blood safety in APEC economies. The PTN will capitalize on the strengths of multi-sector, multi-lateral involvement and public private partnerships in driving blood safety improvements.

“The PTN is designed to bring a comprehensive, scalable approach to raising the bar across all economies,” said Maureen M. Goodenow, Senior Advisor for Health, Science, Technology and Innovation at the U.S. Department of State and Co-Chair of the LSIF PTN. “The safety and sustainability of the blood supply in APEC economies will improve through strong alignment of government agencies, international organizations, professional societies, non-governmental organization, universities and the private sector,” said Goodenow, who holds the Stephany W. Holloway Endowed University Chair for HIV/AIDS Research at the University of Florida.

In November 2015, APEC leadership acknowledged that disaster resilience includes “the ability to collaborate in detecting and preventing the spread of communicable disease…the development of the Healthy Asia-Pacific 2020 Roadmap...APEC’s working partnership with other relevant global initiatives for strengthening infectious disease control and the training network established to ensure the safety of our region’s blood supply.” In addition, APEC recognizes the importance of “health systems in promoting the development of human capital and inclusive growth and looks forward to further work in 2016 to address the fiscal and economic impacts of ill-health.”

The APEC Blood Supply Chain 2020 Roadmap calls for:

  • Optimizing blood processing, testing and distribution systems;
  • Strengthening cross-sector political commitment, national-level government leadership and local-level policy enactment, and implementation of national blood safety procedures for improving the sustainability of the blood supply;
  • Solidifying quality systems as an essential element for creating viable national blood system, which requires full government commitment for long term success;
  • Increasing government knowledge — at all levels —of blood testing strategies,
  • Strengthening local policy to ensure national blood safety, including implementation of a robust donor recruitment strategy;
  • Incorporating public-private partnerships and partnerships with non-profit organizations to provide access to resources and expertise, and to identify advocates for advancing blood safety;
  • Providing evidence to decision-makers on the value of blood safety policies that facilitate data-based decisions for public health; and
  • Avoiding unnecessary blood transfusions and optimizing use of a patient’s own blood by adopting patient blood management, or PBM, as a standard of care.

Markowitz added that “AABB applauds this level of commitment across the 21 APEC economies. The importance of cross-sector commitment in achieving PTN’s goals cannot be underestimated; AABB is proud to partner with leading healthcare organizations from around the globe to educate and support APEC’s economies in securing a safe and reliable blood system,” said Markowitz.

The APEC 2015 Ministerial issued a joint statement on the importance of focusing efforts to improve health efforts as it relates to emergency preparedness. “We welcome the development of the APEC Working Manual of Health Hotline Responding to Public Health Emergencies, the APEC Healthcare Acquired Infections Policy Guidelines, the APEC Blood Supply Chain 2020 Roadmap and the establishment of the Blood Supply Chain Partnership Training Network,” according to a joint statement issued on November 17, 2015.

The PTN’s efforts were recognized by the White House Fact Sheet on October 19 which stated that “APEC Leaders and Ministers took steps to strengthen our health systems and address health-related threats to our economies by launching a public-private training network to ensure the safety and sustainability of the blood supply in APEC economies.”

About AABB

AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in transfusion medicine, cellular therapies and patient blood management. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of nearly 2,000 institutions and 8,000 individuals, including physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. Members are located in more than 80 countries. For more information, visit www.aabb.org.

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