The AfSBT ITWG held its inaugural technical workshop from 12-13 December 2018 in South Africa.
In 2016, The AfSBT Board approved the establishment of the AfSBT ITWG whose purpose is to (1) develop standards for African blood services that define and promote strategies on using Information and Communication Technology’s (ICT’s) in a blood bank environment in order to facilitate the sharing of information, (2) evaluate contemporary technologies in the area of ICT and their applicability to African blood services, (3) provide expertise knowledge for the membership in the area of ICT, and (4) promoting standards for establishing methods and technologies to protect and ensure confidentiality, availability and integrity of blood bank information, and also ensure audits of the use and good practices to manage the security of blood bank information. The AfSBT ITWG objectives are also in line with the workshop recommended outcomes on strengthening data and information management for blood services convened by World Health Organization in 2014 in Zimbabwe.
The AfSBT ITWG with the support of Swiss Red Cross (SRC) is facilitating a number of ICT projects for 2018. It was noted that there was a need to have a technical workshop for the AfSBT ITWG so that the updates on the projects are shared. This forum was also a springboard to plan for additional projects for 2019 going forward. A sustainability framework for the AfSBT ITWG was also explored and agreed upon. The need to provide ICT consultancy / support services through the AfSBT ITWG and a framework to achieve this was also discussed and agreed upon.
A total of 11 participants attended the workshop from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Egypt, Ghana, Malawi, Switzerland, and United Kingdom (via Skype conferencing).
Tonderai Mapako, PhD