The government has received approval from the cabinet to upgrade the national blood bank with the assistance from the Netherlands.
The Cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal forwarded Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to upgrade the National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS), especially in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, under the assistance from a Dutch company.
Accordingly, the government will accept a project proposal submitted by a company in Netherlands to upgrade the blood transfusion services with state-of-the-art technology at a cost of US$ 32.6 million.
Among others, the project will introduce ultra-high sensitive test methods to minimize the threat of transmission of blood born infections and a frozen red cell facility to enable the preservation of rare blood types up to 10 years. The existing facilities only provide a maximum life of 42 days for red blood cells.
The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) is the sole supplier of blood to all government hospitals and the majority of private sector hospitals in the country.