Blood Transfusion Service site visit Harare, Zimbabwe 4th October 2011 __________________________________________________________________________________ This visit took place on the morning of 4th October 2011 and was organised for the visiting T-REC team (Imelda Bates, Rene van Hulst, Shirley Owusu-Ofori) by staff at the Centre. The Centre is set next to Harare’s main hospital in beautifully kept gardens which provide the setting for several sculptures. The visit started in the venesection area where several donors were being bled or sitting in the café areas having their post-donation refreshments. The Centre has an active apheresis programme for the donation of platelets and plasma. We visited all the laboratory sections where infection screening, grouping and antibody studies are undertaken and all the areas where blood is processed into components and stored. All the blood is bar coded and documentation and quality control processes are extremely rigorous. The Centre has a dedicated communications office responsible for dealing with the public and the press and for producing items for a weekly newspaper column. In the afternoon we visited a mobile blood donation unit which was visiting a secondary school several miles outside Harare. Several boys were undergoing health checks, donating blood or receiving refreshments while we were there and many of them were regular donors. The session was managed extremely efficiently using the same rigorous processes as we had observed in the Centre in Harare. All the staff at the centre and in the mobile teams were extremely welcoming and highly professional, clearly taking great pride in their work and aware of their important contribution to health care in Zimbabwe.