The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday that eight out of 10 people across the globe had limited access to safe blood, but the chances of receiving a safe blood transfusion - or any blood transfusion at all - varied enormously from country to country.
WHO also warned that although HIV-contaminated blood accounted for only 5 percent of all new infections in Africa, not enough was being done to test donated blood for infectious diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis B and C.
In a statement, Lee Jong-wook, the director-general of WHO, stressed that "safe blood is a fundamental need for the health system of any country".
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions