The demand for human blood is increasing at a rapid rate throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Growth in demand is driven by rising incidence of disease, attention on maternal and child health, population growth, aging populations, a steadily growing middle-class population with greater access to medical care, as well as an increased government focus on improving healthcare infrastructure.
Following the WHO’s 2013 decision to add blood and blood products to its List of Essential Medicines, the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) initiated action to develop a comprehensive and multi-sectoral approach to improve access to blood and blood products in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC recognized the need to leverage the collective strength of key stakeholders to help APEC economies, particularly developing economies, to build the capacity of their blood services, infrastructure, and governance and promote the achievement of international safety and quality standards.
APEC Blood Supply Chain 2020 Roadmap
In October 2014, APEC representatives adopted the APEC Blood Supply Chain 2020 Roadmap, launching a long-term multi-sectoral effort to address blood safety in the region that would support the translation of global blood safety policy recommendations and local economy blood safety plans into concrete, measurable results.
Facilitating Policy Dialogue
Facilitating high-level, multi-sectoral policy dialogue on blood safety challenges in the Asia-Pacific region is a key objective of the APEC Blood Supply Chain Initiative. The 2nd APEC High Level Blood Supply Chain Policy Forum: A Critical Time for Policy Action, Leadership, and Investment in Blood Safety was held on Friday, 23 October 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, United States.
Partnership Training Network (PTN)
The APEC LSIF Blood Supply Chain Partnership Training Network (PTN) was established to serve as a long-term sustainable mechanism to support capacity building activities to help APEC economies implement the APEC Roadmap’s recommended actions. The PTN will develop and deliver an evolving curriculum that enhances capacity and promotes the achievement of international standards in the blood supply chain.
Who is Involved in the APEC Blood Supply Chain Initiative?
Governments. The 21 APEC Governments will facilitate the participation of experts from Ministries of Health and national regulatory agencies as appropriate in ongoing policy dialogue and in PTN activities. Through the APEC process, policy recommendations and reports on the PTN training activities will be reported to APEC Governments, including Ministers of Health, and APEC Ministers (Foreign) and Leaders as appropriate.
National Blood Services. The PTN’s training and capacity building activities are targeted at managers of National Blood Services organizations (both government and non-profit, independent organizations). Securing high-level support from these organizations is critical to the success of the APEC initiative.
Regional and International Organizations. Regional and international organizations will provide strategic input and advice on training and capacity building programs and activities.
Academia, Medical Associations, and Patient Groups. Academic and non-profit leaders in key areas of blood safety will be included in APEC’s ongoing policy dialogues and PTN training activities as appropriate.
Private sector. The Private sector will have input into policy dialogues and PTN Training Activities through the PTN Secretariat. The private sector’s input will be provided in a transparent manner and without the perception of a conflict of interest.