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Government of Ghana Endorses Collaboration to Combat Ebola Epidemic

12/15/2014

AABB, Global Blood Fund and Terumo BCT commit resources to Ghanaian Ebola Readiness and Resilience Initiative

LAKEWOOD, Colo., USA—15 December 2014The Government of Ghana has endorsed a project proposed through the collaboration of AABB, Global Blood Fund (GBF) and Terumo BCT to respond to the emerging Ebola crisis within West Africa, as well as provide long-term health system capacity to the citizens of Ghana.

KEY FACTS:

  • The Ghanaian Ebola Readiness and Resilience Initiative (GERRI) is a multi-agency effort designed to:
    • Augment Ghana's preparations for the possible arrival of the Ebola epidemic
    • Provide new blood product collection capabilities to improve transfusion care
    • Offer new treatment options for patients with sickle cell disease and certain other hematologic and neurologic conditions
    • Enhance blood safety through the use of pathogen reduction
    • Integrate training programs and resources to support education
  • Once approved for use in Ghana:
    • GBF will donate two Trima Accel® Automated Blood Collection Systems
    • Terumo BCT will donate two Spectra Optia® Apheresis Systems and two Mirasol® Pathogen Reduction Technology Systems
    • AABB will provide training, process management education and program evaluations
    • The Ghana Ministry of Health, through the National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG) will provide administrative support, dedicated space and human resources toward project implementation and ensuring a coordinated national approach to the provision of safe, adequate, and efficacious blood and blood products, making them accessible and affordable to all patients requiring blood transfusion therapy
  • Delivery of medical devices and the start of training is expected in early 2015
  • To learn more about GERRI, visit www.GERRIWeb.org

Implementation of Medical Devices:

Within the Southern Area Blood Centre of the NBSG a regional apheresis training center will be established as a center of excellence for other countries interested in strengthening their transfusion medicine operations. The training center will use:

  • The Trima Accel system to collect and separate blood components (red blood cells, platelets, plasma) including convalescent plasma (CP), plasma collected from patients recovered from a disease and used to treat a person with the disease, which has emerged as a favored, empirical treatment for Ebola virus disease in U.S. hospitals
  • The Spectra Optia system for red blood cell exchange, used to treat sickle cell patients and therapeutic plasma exchange to treat patients with auto-immune conditions, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • The Mirasol system, which is designed to render a broad range of disease-causing viruses, bacteria and parasites less pathogenic, and inactivate residual white blood cells found in whole blood and blood components

KEY QUOTES:

Dr. Victor Bampoe, Deputy Minister of Health, Republic of Ghana
"We are pleased to confirm the endorsement of the Ghanaian Ebola Readiness and Resilience Initiative. We believe this project will serve to respond to the emerging Ebola crisis within West Africa, as well as provide long-term health system capacity to the citizens ofGhana. The Ministry of Health thanks Global Blood Fund and its collaborating partners AABB and Terumo BCT for developing and proposing this activity that will benefit the people of Ghana long after we have defeated Ebola."

Dr. Justina Kordai Ansah, Director of the National Blood Service, Ghana
"This represents a unique opportunity for NBSG and the people of Ghana to leverage technology to provide for long-term health system capacity while expanding our reputation in the region as a centre of excellence in the discipline of blood transfusion. The donation of equipment and training resources will help immensely, not only with this immediate crisis, but with future challenges to public health."

Miriam Markowitz, Chief Executive Officer, AABB
"At AABB, our mission is to advance the practice and standards of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies to optimize patient and donor care and safety. This type of partnership supports an effective and collaborative approach in addressing a large and complex global challenge. Being able to share best practices, training and tools with our colleagues in West Africa, which can improve their transfusion capabilities, means that we can put in place effective, longstanding measures that will stop the spread of this disease."

Dr. John Armitage, President, Global Blood Fund and Oklahoma Blood Institute
"We are excited to be working in collaboration and partnership on this critical public health intervention. As an international, charitable organization, our focus is on saving lives by improving the availability and safety of blood in some of the world's poorest nations. The strength of Ghana's medical delivery system, its strong public service infrastructure and its close proximity to the current Ebola outbreak makes it a prime target for the precautionary interventions we are putting in place."

David Perez, President and Chief Executive Officer, Terumo BCT, Chairman, Terumo Corporation Blood Management Business
"Global blood safety is our priority. Our support of this effort is tied to our vision as an organization—Working Together for Better Lives—and demonstrates what is possible when people come together with a common goal and are willing to leverage their technology, innovation and best practices to improve people's lives. For us, that is what it is all about: the patients we ultimately serve and how our technology can make that life-saving difference. We are excited about this collaboration and look forward to working with our partners, the Republic of Ghana, AABB and Global Blood Fund on this important initiative."

About The Republic of Ghana:

Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Trust Territory of Togoland, Ghana, in 1957, became the first sub-Saharan county in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana has been a stable constitutional democracy since 1992. The culturally diverse population consists of over 75 ethnic groups and enjoys considerable religious and press freedom. The Ghanaian economy, which achieved lower middle-income status in 2011, is driven primarily by agriculture, services, tourism and export of natural resources including gold, cocoa and oil. Ghana currently heads the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

About National Blood Service, Ghana:

The National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG) is one of the newest Agencies under the Ministry of Health that contributes significantly to the implementation of the Health Sector Programmes of action. NBSG provides an essential service within Ghana and aspires to be rated amongst the best in the world in the provision of blood and blood products, as well as in relation to the research and training provided. Our key purpose is to save patients' lives. For more information, visit www.nbsghana.org.

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, visitwww.aabb.org.

About Global Blood Fund:

Global Blood Fund is a not-for-profit charity established in 2008 run by practicing professionals working in blood donation management in the U.S. and Europe who are appalled by the huge global inequalities in access to safe blood. Our aim is to save lives by improving the availability and safety of blood in some of the world's poorest nations. We focus on enabling blood services in developing countries to nurture that most precious of resources — their blood donors. In rich places and poor, the people that freely give their blood are the cornerstone of a plentiful supply of safe blood. GBF has provided money, equipment and other forms of support to countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America. For more information visit www.globalbloodfund.org

About Terumo BCT
Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing, and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers.

Media Contact
Sherri Hughes-Smith, Terumo BCT Global Integrated Communications
Phone: 303.542.5113
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