It was a wonderful opportunity for the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) to reconnect with colleagues at the 36th South African National Blood Transfusion Congress that was held at the Durban International Convention Centre, 22 – 25 August. The latest advancements in the field of blood transfusion was discussed, within the overarching theme of “Shaping a sustainable future’’. As always, the Congress was well supported and produced a high academic standard, and as much fun was to be had at the social events.

The Congress was comprised of about 350 delegates (including national, continental and international attendees), over 20 exhibitors, and just shy of 90 oral and poster presenters. A WCBS delegation of 56 staff members had the privilege of attending the Congress.

The academic programme consisted of:

  • Three interesting workshops, covering building resilience, communicating with impact and digital marketing.
  • Five plenary sessions that included lessons learned from COVID-19, blood donor registries and repositories, fecal microbiota transplantation, Patient Blood Management at Groote Schuur Hospital, the PROTECT COVID convalescent plasma trial, plasma donor health and vigilance, safety and security of blood supply using risk-based decision making, an ethics debate about mandatory COVID vaccination, a legal position about POPIA in healthcare, ethical considerations in management of anaemia in pregnancy, HTLV and transfusion risk update, SARS-CoV-2 infection in repeat blood donors, vaccine-induced seroprevalence studies in blood donors, and presentations to inform how the Blood Services build sustainability over the next three decades.
  • Fourteen parallel sessions that included COVID-19 insights and perspectives, haemovigilance, stem cells and alternative therapies, service delivery, new developments in quality management system, recruitment and retention of blood donors, plasma and plasma-derived medicinal products, safe and sufficient blood donation, insights into transfusion-transmissible infections, clinical transfusion practice, finance, logistics and human resources, safer transfusion practice, and capacity building and training.

Watch this space for information about the International Society for Blood Transfusion Congress that will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre next year.

For more information, contact Hayley Alie, Hospital Liaison Officer (