One of the strategic objectives of AfSBT is to develop and establish an internationally recognised educational programme that will advance the development of blood transfusion skills across the continent and support accreditation endeavours of blood transfusion centres. To achieve this objective, the AfSBT board established an education and training programme and appointed two education managers to run this programme, develop and promote its activities and make it accessible to as many blood transfusion services staff as possible, in order to contribute to improving blood safety in Africa. Twenty two educators are being trained to assist the education managers in their tasks.
Before seeking certification or accreditation, key employees in many blood services need training on quality and the “best practices” required to meet the accreditation standards. A programme that provides the required skills to those who are responsible for service delivery will go a long way to ensuring the success of the accreditation programme.
In this respect, the education team trains NBTS staff on the AfSBT standards, conducts baseline and progress assessments, assists the facilities in determining the extent to which they meet the requirements of the AfSBT Standards, provides support to develop and implement plans to address the identified non-conformances, organizes study tours and benchmarking visits, provides mentorship and any other technical support that may be required.
Together with the managing office staff, the education team is revising existing training materials and developing new ones. Once finalized, these materials are posted on the AfSBT website for country use. The programme is also planning to develop distance learning as well as e-learning programmes for the benefit of blood services staff in the African continent and beyond.
The AfSBT Education Committee supports the education and training programme in its work. The duties and responsibilities of this Committee include, but are not limited to:
- Assist with the design, content and development of educational and training materials and training programmes.
- Identify specific training needs in countries.
- Identify education and training resources that may be of value to AfSBT and its members.
- Work with international bodies involved in the education of transfusion medicine.
- Contribute to educational initiatives of AfSBT.
This committee meets in-person every two years, but additional in-person meetings can be held if funding is available. Electronic meetings can also be organized if so required. During its last meeting held in August 2017, the training curriculum for assessors and educators was reviewed and finalized
Education is essential for the successful implementation of any programme or project. Irrespective to our origin and the language we speak, whether we are young or old, we need to be educated and to go through the continuous improvement process, if we dream to walk with the winners and those who make history AfSBT has made education and training one of its priorities. It has bet on making this programme the driving force of the accreditation project. We invite you to join us in this passionate journey that paves the way for a better future for blood safety and availability in Africa