The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is supporting the National Blood Service (NBS) of Ghana with modern equipment for the effective screening of blood.
It would be managed by experts from Japan on a build, operate and transfer basis for two years.
This was made known at a signing ceremony between JICA, the Ministry of Health, the NBS and Terumo Blood Management Company, a private company that would provide the equipment and experts for the two-year project that is to begin this year.
Under the programme, known as ‘Reduction of the Risk Transfusion Transmitted Infection with Haemovigilance infrastructure, which will be financed by JICA. Terumo will introduce the Mirasol Pathogen Reduction Technology System to prevent transfusion-transmitted infections such as malaria, HIV and syphilis. As part of the programme, there will also be training and transfer of local expertise.
The Minister of Health, Mr Alex P. Segbefia, who signed on behalf of the ministry, said JICA, over the years, had been very supportive of health intervention programmes in the country and made particular mention of the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) programme.
He said JICA had so far built 64 CHPS facilities in the Upper West Region and was hoping to construct more in the Upper East Region as well.
Mr Segbefia said the provision of modern equipment that would facilitate the screening of blood in the country would also help in eliminating the transfusion of infections.
He called on Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of donating blood since it would help save lives.
The Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Ghana, Mr Shigeru Umetsu, said the private sector had a crucial role to play in Africa’s development.
According to him, presently, Japan was making the best use of Japanese companies’ capabilities together with the power of the public sector to forge solutions to issues facing Africa.
A Senior Representative of JICA in Ghana, Mr Norihito Yenebayashi, who signed for JICA, said the programme was a collaboration between JICA and the private sector which aimed at supporting the dissemination of Japanese technology, knowledge and system confirmed to be effective, to help solve social and economic challenges of developing countries.
The Director of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy, Terumo, Mr Nigel Talboys, gave an assurance that the programme would help transfer knowledge to Ghanaians.
He said the Japanese Red Cross would also be on hand to help in monitoring and executing some of the programmes.
Mr Talboys said at the end of the programme, all the equipment would be handed over to Ghana.
The Director of the NBS, Dr Justina Ansah, signed on behalf of the service, while Mr Hiroshi Nagumo, Executive Officer of Terumo Corporation, signed for the company.