Generally, the ISBT holds about two regional conventions of which one is held in Europe. This year the convention was held at Bella Centre in Copenhagen from 17th to 21st of June 2017.

The ISBT is an international society that aims to connect with blood transfusion professionals, promote and maintain a high level of ethical, medical and scientific standards in blood transfusion medicine as well as support safe and sufficient transfusion therapy globally.

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The conference, which was organised in collaboration with Danish specialists within the field, was attended by roughly 2100 registered delegates from 54 global countries and boasted over 85 exhibitors. The congress buzzed with activity and provided researchers and experts from different countries an opportunity to exchange information regarding blood transfusion medicine and related disciplines. Numerous ISBT Working Parties as well as Workshops took place during the congress. A breakfast was also held to informally bring Young Investigators (under 40 years old) together with Transfusion Medicine experts. The overall Scientific Programme was of a high standard with participants from all over the world with Africa making its mark in the International arena.

 Presentations from South Africa entailed the following:

  • Discovery of “False HIV Elite Controllers” among South African Blood Donors - presented by Marion Vermeulen – SANBS
  • The National Blood Service as a platform for HIV cure research: A preliminary report from the Monitoring & acute treatment of HIV Study (MATHS) – Dr. Karin Van Den Berg – SANBS
  • Practical Experiences from the field: Reflections of Blood Safety in Africa – Peter Zacharias

Presentations from Africa were as follows:

  • Practical Aspects of Sickle Cell Disease – O Nnodu – University of Abuja, Nigeria
  • Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell disease in Ghana: 20 years of testing, tracking and follow-up – A Osei-Akoto
  • The Benefits and challenges of International Research collaborations in Transfusion Medicine: The case of Francophone Africa Transfusion Research Network – C Tayou Tangy – University of Yaoundé, Cameroon
  • Blood Cell Storage under usual conditions in Africa: A User’s perspective – S Uyoga – Welcome Trust Research Programme , Kenya
  • Computerising Blood Donor & Donation Information in Ghana – E Dei - National Blood Service, Ghana
  • Implementation of Evidence -Based & Co-ordinated Blood Supply Management System: Zimbabwean Experience – T Mapako National Blood Service, Zimbabwe
  • The Organisation of Blood Centres in Namibia – Israel Chipare- National Blood Service Namibia
  • Motivating Blood Donors in Ghana – Lucy Asamoah-Akuoko – National Blood Service, Ghana Further topics discussed where Blood donation, Blood Products, Management & organisation, Transfusion Transmitted Infections, Immune Haematology, Clinical Transfusion, Cellular Therapies & Immunogenetics

Two of SSEM Mthembu Medical’s main suppliers JMS & Conroy were well represented at the exhibition. Conroy launched their new tube sealers which will also be on display at the 34th National Blood Congress in Sun City from 28 – 31st August 2017. Come visit SSEM Mthembu Medical at stand 40 & 41 to view these new products.

The 27th Regional Congress of the ISBT Copenhagen Denmark was a great success and a big congratulation goes to all the local & international organising committees on a scientific & technical success.