Our life-saving role in Ghana’s health system started more than 60 years ago.
The idea of establishing a Blood Transfusion Service (BTS) was conceived from the initiative of some professors in the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH). Soon afterwards, a Regional Blood Transfusion Service (RBTS) was established.
The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) evolved from the RBTS in the capital city, Greater Accra. The Ministry of Health (MOH) established the NBTS as a unit with the responsibility of coordinating blood services in Ghana. The NBTS had its headquarters under the Ghana Health Service (GHS) with oversight from the MOH.
Attempts were made to restructure the NBTS and the concept of Area Blood Centres (ABC) emerged based on the health system’s regional structure. The ABCs were envisaged to be under the Regional Directors of Health Services (RDHS).
In 1992, a NBTS policy/programme was approved by the Minister of Health for full implementation.
In 1998, there was an obvious and demanding need to restructure blood transfusion services (BTS) in Ghana so the Minister of Health set a committee to review and write a new blood programme for the country. The committee put together a Revised Blood Programme which drew on problems encountered in the implementation of first programme/policy and the fact that BTS was becoming more integrated.
The following year (1999), the committee’s report was accepted for full implementation by the Minister of Health and a National Blood Advisory Committee (NBC) was reconstituted and inaugurated to formulate a National Blood Policy (NBP) based on the revised Blood Programme among other functions.
The new millennium came with new hopes and opportunities for blood services in Ghana.
After several reviews, draft NBP was developed for adoption in 2002.
In 2003, the Government of Ghana embarked on a journey to re-organize and modernize blood services in the country under Component II of the Health Services Rehabilitation Project (HSRP III). This led to the construction of a purpose-built facility for our Headquarters and Southern Blood Centre in Accra, Ghana with a loan contracted from the Nordic Development Fund in 2004.
In 2006, a National Blood Policy was adopted and approved by Cabinet to provide policy direction towards the attainment of a sustainable supply of safe and adequate blood and blood components for transfusion in both public and private health facilities in Ghana.
That what when we evolved from the NBTS into the National Blood Service (NBS).
In 2009, the terms of reference of regulatory authority were developed and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) was identified as the National Blood Regulatory Authority.
The implementation of the NBP brought significant progress to our efforts. Blood services experienced substantial improvement in various areas such as blood donor recruitment and management, blood collection, laboratory testing, component processing, storage and distribution, and quality assurance in clinical use of blood.
During this period, a Blood Services Bill was developed for approval by Parliament to give a legal backing to the mandate given to us.
From 2015, we made a several moves to strengthen then national regulatory system for blood services in the country. We initiated an attempt to secure external accreditation for the Southern Area Blood Centre (SABC) from the African Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT). We also collaborated with FDA Ghana to start the regulation of blood facilities.
In 2016, we implemented an information management system, Blood Safety Information System (BSIS) in the SABC to improve quality data reporting.
Since then, we have chalked some significant successes in our quest to coordinate and improve the provision of safe blood and blood products across the country.
In October 2020, the NBP was reviewed and the 2nd edition of the National Blood Policy was adopted under the theme “Safe and Adequate Blood for All” to support the Ghana health system by responding to current national needs, and to reflect the incremental changes that we have made.
In December 2020, the National Blood Service Act, 2020 was passed by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana to establish the National Blood Service as a body corporate.
Currently, we continue to operate as an agency of the Ministry of Health comprising a Headquarters and three (3) Zonal Blood Centres in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale. We have also recently initiated a national programme to upgrade selected regional hospital blood banks into Blood Distribution Centres to improve access to safe and adequate blood.
We have a very important assignment towards the people of Ghana. This assignment is the very reason for our existence. We have a mission to“attain a sustainable national supply of safe blood that relies on 100% voluntary unpaid blood donations in a manner responsive to the needs of patients requiring blood transfusion therapy in both public and private health institutions in Ghana”
Vision is about imagining and planning the future with wisdom. Our vision builds on our past achievements and sets the direction towards our future. Our vision is to“provide safe, adequate and sustainable blood supply for a healthy population”
In providing our services we value:
The National Blood Service is governed by a board, which includes the Chief Executive Officer. The NBS Board reports to the Minister of Health, who has overall responsibility and oversight.
Our board’s membership is made up of representatives of Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Attorney-General, Teaching Hospitals, Private Healthcare Providers Association, Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations in Health, Public Medical Schools, National Media Commission and Allied Health Schools.
Our Board plays a critical role in ensuring effective and efficient performance of our functions, including strategic direction, operational and financial activities, and risk management.
We have over 200 employees, with over 100 affiliates and non-donor volunteers, working hard across the country to ensure that blood services and its related services are improved and offered efficiently.
We have blood donor recruitment officers and volunteers in the field, nurses in blood collection centres, scientists in laboratories and office staff working behind computers. Each of these people are playing their roles in the best way they can.
Meet the NBS Management Team
Dr. Shirley Phyllis Ohenewa Owusu-Ofori
Ag. Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Lucy Asamoah-Akuoko
Head, Research, Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation.
Dr. Dilys John-Teye
Ag. Head, Southern Zonal Blood Center
Mrs. Sheila Allotey
Laboratory Services Manager
Mr. Prince E. Asante
Head, Administration and
Mrs. Mavis Okyere
Head of Quality
Mr. David Ahiadzro
Head of Donor Recruitment
Mrs. Cynthia Obu
Human Resource Manager
Mrs. Marian Davies
Head of Donor Care
Mr. Mohammed Murtala
Head of Finance