Department & Services

The National Blood Service has been a key health service provider that supports the health system in Ghana. Take a look at our departments and the services they deliver routinely.

Donor Services


Safe blood donors are the cornerstone of our operations. Recruiting safe donors is an indispensable component of the work we do. Our recruitment work entails identifying low-risk populations, educating and motivating them to give blood regularly.

We make use of various methods of education and creating awareness among the public. We also solicit the active cooperation of various media (both electronic and print versions) to boost our blood donor recruitment programme.

We have trained staff who are engaged in the recruitment, motivation and retention of blood donors. They are trained appropriately to our local needs.

We also organize mobile blood collection sessions in collaboration with schools, places of worship, corporate organizations, work places, organized community groups and media houses to collect blood from voluntary blood donors.

Blood Collection

We employ best practices and stringent principles of safety when collecting blood from our blood donors. Our blood collection processes are quality assured and validated. We pay close attention to issues like hygiene, correct donor identification and adverse reactions.

We have systems in place to ensure that blood donors who experience reactions before, during and after giving blood are managed by our well-trained donor care professionals.

Donor Care & Counselling

We ensure that the act of giving blood is safe and causes no harm to the donor. We have a donor selection programme that protects the health and safety of blood donors by ensuring that we collect blood only from healthy people.

Our programme also ensures the safety of patients because we collect blood only from donors whose donations, when transfused, will be safe for recipients.

Counselling is another integral part of the duty of care that we owe to all persons who present themselves to give blood. Before, during and after blood donation, we hold confidential conversations with blood donors about issues relating to their health and the donation process.It is a means by which we promote healthy lifestyles and make an important contribution to our blood donors and the community at large.

Laboratory Services

Blood Testing

Prevention of transfusion-transmitted infection is critical for the safety of the blood supply in Ghana. As part of our commitment to blood safety, we ensure that each donated blood is tested for infectious diseases before release for transfusion.

We test all donated blood for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and Syphilis. We also conduct blood grouping tests on all donated blood to determine the blood group of each unit. Screening for irregular or unexpected antibodies is performed on every donated unit.

All antibody screen positives are identified and unit labelled as such. Antibody titres (Anti –A and Anti-B) antibodies are determined on all group O blood donations. High-titred anti-A and anti-B antibodies are labeled on the units, which are only given to blood group recipients.


We distribute blood and blood products to hospitals for transfusion. We have a good understanding and relationship with health facilities that allows them to source for blood and blood products from us.

Blood Processing

We perceive whole blood collected from our donors as a precious asset so we prepare blood products from donated blood to benefit multiple patients. Our aim is to ensure that patients are transfused with only the components they need.

In a year, over 40,000 different components are prepared across the country.

Our blood processing programme ensures that we maximize the use of one donation, while making the best use of donated blood, which is a scarce resource.

We separate blood donations into four main components, namely Concentrated Red Cells (CRCs), Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP), Platelet Concentrate and Cryoprecipitate. We also prepare paediatric packs of CRCs and FFPs.

On request, we also prepare other products like Washed Red cells.

Other Services

We offer other Immuno-haematological services such as:

  • Extended red cell phenotyping
  • Antenatal Screening (Blood grouping and screening for irregular or unexpected red cell antibodies)
  • Identification and titration of antibody
  • Compatibility testing for special cases or difficult crossmatches
Clinical Services and Haemovigilance

We do a bit more for our blood donors.

As part of our clinical services, highly qualified staff provide professional counselling and referral services to blood donors with infection issues. They also take care of blood donors who experience problems during or after giving blood.

[Experienced any problems after giving blood? Contact our helpline link to helpline page]

Our professionals also manage blood donors who are deferred from giving blood due to low haemoglobin, as well as manage patients with some blood issues such as polycythaemia.

We provide specialist advice to clinicians in the clinical area on transfusion.

Another part of the work we do is haemovigilance. This part of our work entails training donor care staff on donor selection, following up blood donors with post-donation problems and managing blood donor incidents. We also conduct trainings for hospital staff on haemovigilance and regular review of reports on clinical vigilance and report same to the Food and Drugs Authority.


Our Finance department operates to support us achieve our goals, especially our goal in ensuring financial sustainability of blood services. The department works in four core functional areas.

Budget preparation

Support in the preparation of corporate budget for our operations in line with the budget guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance.

Expenditure and expenditure control

This area of operations covers approval of payments made for goods and services and other internal necessary payments. The department also ensures that the expenses made for our operations do not over run our budget by compare budgeted figures against approved payments.

Revenue mobilization

An important area of our Finance department is revenue mobilization where we harness the needed revenue to finance our programme of activities for the fiscal year. In this regard, the department institutes pragmatic strategies to enhance revenue generation and debt collection, in particular.

Financial reporting

This area covers the disclosure of financial results and related information on our operations to our Board, Management and relevant external stakeholders (Ministry of Finance, Controller and Accountant General’s Department, Ministry of Health and donors).

Apart from its core functional areas, the Finance department also supports in other aspects of the work we do like auditing and event planning (blood donor day celebrations and performance reviews). The department also recently instituted internal administrative office in addition to its core duties to support in administrative and human resource management activities.

The Finance department operates under its own core values of:

  • Professional Competency
  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Supportiveness
  • Confidentiality

These values, as well as knowledge and information sharing, teamwork, capacity building and the proactive use of information technology are deliberately integrated into the department’s work.

Research, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

Evidence to support blood transfusion policies and practices is weak or lacking in certain areas and extrapolating research findings from developed countries to inform our policies is not the best practice because of difference in environment, users and structures.

In order to generate our own evidence and catalyze research, we are enhancing our capacity to conduct, commission and manage research, while strengthening our collaborations within and beyond Africa.

The Research, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation department exist as part of our efforts to build research capacity and establish an appropriate research strategy that meets the needs of our diverse operational activities and services.

With oversight of research, development, planning and data management, the department’s mandate is to excel in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved blood safety and more effective processes, products and blood services in Ghana.

The department responds to the evolving need for blood transfusion research within the National Blood Service by:

  • Implementing a National Research Strategy and Research Agenda
  • Facilitating investigator-initiated research, as well as research on targeted priority areas
  • Developing research capacity in under-developed areas, and training of blood transfusion researchers
  • Translating knowledge (application of the results of research and their transformation into new policies, practices, procedures, products and services)
  • Fostering appropriate research collaborations with relevant research and academic institutions, as well as other stakeholders to carry out active research programmes that will help improve blood transfusion activities in the country. Read more about our research [link to current research projects]
  • Facilitating the development of strategic plans and supporting the decision-making process of management through analysis of data
  • Evaluating data and scientific reports and, preparing or providing support in the preparation of reports

Interested in conducting research within the National Blood Service? Read more [link to research approval page] about our research registration and approval process.

Registration of Research and Approval

The Research, Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation department is the primary contact for researchers.

Researchers are encouraged to engage relevant officers of the National Blood Service at the research proposal development stage. This should be done via the Research Office, which will assist with access to the relevant officers.

This applies particularly to research that seeks access to many facilities or persons and/or contact with a facility over a prolonged period of time, and that will have a significant impact on operations of the facility or persons.

To undertake any research or project, researchers must submit the following to the Research Office for approval;

  • Project Protocol/Proposal
  • Participant’s information sheet and consent form
  • Ethical Clearance or evidence of seeking ethical clearance
  • Data Collection Tool(s)
Following submission of the above:
  • The Research Office records the submitted plan into a database and forward it for review
  • Any queries and comments by the reviewer(s) will be forwarded to the researcher for his/her response. All responses will be sent back to the Research Office.
  • Once the reviewers’ comments have been satisfactorily addressed, the reviewers have indicated their acceptance, and the proposed facilities/units have also indicated the capacity to accommodate the researcher, an approval letter will be issued by the Research Office.

Note: Researchers may only proceed with research once an approval letter has been received from the Research Office.

Researchers are supposed to register all their proposed studies with the Research Office. This can be done via the on-line portal by following this link or by downloading, completing and submitting the application form. Researchers are also required to pay a registration charge to get their research proposals reviewed and registered.

For non-clinical trial research or projects that have received significant funding, researchers are required to pay an administrative charge, which is a percentage of the funding in order to be allowed to undertake their proposed research/projects. This will be done into a designated account approved by the Research Office and proof of payment attached to the registration form.

As part of the approval process, researchers may be requested to deliver a brief presentation of their research proposal to relevant officers of the NBS. This applies to pilot studies as well, which are regarded as part of a formal study.

Human Resource Management

In line with our commitment to maximize employee productivity and protect our organisation from any issues that may arise within our workforce, we have a Human Resources (HR) department.

Our HR department exist to make sure our employees are adequately managed, appropriately compensated, and effectively trained. The department manages every aspect of our employees’ life cycle, including recruitment, promotion, conversion and upgrading.

In order to maximize productivity, the HR department also supervises the performance of our staff on a regular basis. The department takes keen interest in employee development, which involves training, succession planning and career development.

The department also has the responsibility of ensuring compliance with numerous employment regulations and laws, as well as managing staff payroll.