The Closing event of the EU Twinning Project “Strengthening Blood Safety System in Georgia”

On Thursday, 21 July 2022, the Closing event of the EU Twinning Project “Strengthening Blood Safety System in Georgia” was held in the Conference hall of the Georgian Fine Arts Museum (Arthouse) in Tbilisi.

High officials of the Health Care and Social issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Protection of Georgia, the EU Assistance Coordination and Sectoral Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, as well as the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia, Charge D‘Affaire of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to Georgia, the Team Leader of the Governance and Human Capital of the EU Delegation to Georgia, Lithuanian and Dutch Project Leaders, civil sector representatives and medical experts were attend the event.

The project was tailored to provide assistance in the transition period from the current blood supply in Georgia – consisting of a group of 24 individually operating blood establishments, scattered over the country; many of them in a for-profit way with mainly family and paid donors – into a national, centralized, transparent, non-profit organization with voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors.

The main aim of the project “Strengthening Blood Safety System in Georgia” is to upgrade national blood safety legislation and to strengthen national institutional capacities in accordance with European regulations to provide equal safety standards of blood components across the nation, assure safety of blood related services and prevent the spread of blood borne infections by blood transfusion.

Currently greater emphasis is on preventive measures and improvement of mechanisms for the protection of patient safety through the further improvement of regulatory system, medical training and licensing mechanisms in accordance with international standards.  

During implementation of the twinning project, the draft law on “the Quality and Safety of Human Blood and Its Components” has been developed, and work on a package of amendments to the secondary legislation in accordance with the EU legislation is underway. This ensures the establishment of uniform standards for the quality and safety of blood components throughout the country, the safety of blood transfusion services and the prevention of the spread of infections transmitted through blood transfusion. The work on the Blood Transfusion System reorganization strategy and its action plan has been completed. The National Communication Strategy for the transition to the voluntary, unpaid donation, a visual design of the logo of the National Blood Center and the brandbook were recently presented to the public. 20th edition of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare (EDQM) Guidelines for the Manufacture, Use and Quality Assurance of Blood Components, Donor Health Care Guidelines (DoHeCa), Donor Managament Guidelines of the Netherlands Sanquin Blood Foundation and the European Blood Inspection System (EuBIS) training material has been translated.

‘We have reached the last stage of our Project and I am happy to see how much have been done by our experts including amendment of transfusion related Georgian legislation, management of laboratory and efficient usage of blood products, also creating the marketing strategy for the state transition to fully volunteer and non-remunerated blood donations. In the spirit of EU Twinning values Lithuanian, Georgian and Dutch professionals cooperated to set up safe and well established blood transfusion system of Georgia‘, said the Project Leader Daumantas Gutauskas at the closing event.

The project “Strengthening Blood Safety System in Georgia” is also determined to support public health policies and programmes aimed at preventing the spread of infectious diseases, promoting the safety of materials of human origin and ensuring the highest possible level of quality of blood transfusion services in Georgia.