Guest post by Dr. Ahmad Masoud Rahmani
Dr. Ahmad Masoud Rahmani is the National Director of the Afghanistan National Blood Safety and Transfusion Services Directorate, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Dr. Masoud was a participant in the Keanahikishime Leadership Development Program offered by the USAID-funded Technical Support to the Central and Provincial Ministry of Public Health project (Tech-Serve) in Afghanistan last year.
The National Blood Transfusion service in Afghanistan has the responsibility for ensuring that a safe and adequate blood supply is available for all people who need it. This is a free service to all citizens of Afghanistan as mandated by our parliament. Yet to us the costs of providing one pint of blood is very high, about $30 per unit. This includes the cost of consumables, testing of blood, refreshments to blood donors, and the cost of supporting staff and services. For Afghanistan, a country devastated by internal strife and war, this is a very high burden to carry by the Ministry of Public Health.