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PEPFAR Partners With BD To Improve Blood Collection Safety In Africa

PEPFAR and the global medical technology company BD announced an iniative Tuesday that will work to improve blood collection safety in clinics and hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa – an issue that PANA/Afrique en ligne reports has “become more critical than ever in sub-Saharan nations and other developing countries severely impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic” (8/12).

“The program will help hospital and clinical personnel improve their blood-drawing procedures and specimen handling, processes that are critical to the proper management of HIV/AIDS patients,” and teach health workers methods to control their exposure to the virus, according to a BD release (8/11).

“The three-year initiative — which may be extended up to two additional years — is scheduled to begin in October in Kenya” before expanding into four other PEPFAR-supported countries.  It is expected to “ultimately support in-service training for as many as 10,000 healthcare workers” and “track as many as two million blood draws within each participating country,” PANA/Afrique en ligne writes (8/12).

Eric Goosby, U.S. global AIDS coordinator, said in the release, “Efforts like these build the capacity of partner countries, support the scale up of proven HIV interventions, and ultimately help create a sustainable response to HIV/AIDS” (8/11).