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Working groups

A study group on the teaching of Transfusion Medicine to undergraduate medical students has been constituted after the ISBT European Congress of Barcelona in 1993.

As a follow-up of the Roundtable on "International cooperation in training in Transfusion Medicine: what has happened so far in Europe?", at the 6th "Balkan-European" course in Skopje in October 2008, an informal working group has been set up on international cooperation in Transfusion Medicine.



A course, in January 1999, has been co-organised in Senegal.


In February 2007 (through participation to a Libyan Congress in Sabratha), the possibility of a course in Libya started to be explored, on prevention and treatment of thalassaemia and sickle-cell diseases, to the benefit of both European and Arab participants, with Faculty equally composed by European and Arab teachers and coordinators. The project has been approved by the Steering Group of the ATMC initiative, and interest has been shown by the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF).


A “Workshop on stem-cell therapy”, in May 2007, has been co-organised in Teheran (Iran), in the frame of an active collaboration asked to and given by the ESTM to the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organisation (IBTO) for the planning of the scientific programme (having strong educational aspects) of their 1st International Congress in Transfusion Medicine.


A "Blood safety Workshop in Albania" under the aegis of WHO, proposed to the ESTM for collaboration by the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF), took place in Tirana in September 2007.

Demand from the European Blood Alliance (EBA)

Collaboration of the ESTM has been asked by EBA for the educational aspects of a EU triennial project (presented in 2007) on "Good donor management", concerning the final "dissemination" of its outcomes (Donor management manual, Training programme).

National Blood Transfusion Societies

Many National Societies, or equivalent Institutions (Albania, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine), have been actively collaborating in the preparation of ESTM residential courses, some of them more than once (Albania, Czech Republic, Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland).

Collaborative programmes

Scientific Meetings of National Societies

Prospects and achievements of Transfusion Medicine teaching and education have been discussed in scientific Meetings of National Societies (Czech Republic, 1993, 1994 and 1998; Israel, 1993; Germany, 1993; Turkey, 1993 and 2000; Portugal, 1994; Italy, 1996 and 2006; Slovakia, 1997; Macedonia, 2000; Ukraine, 2000; Croatia, 2002; Serbia, 2002; Bulgaria, 2004 and 2009; Libya, 2007; Iran, 2007), of the ISBT (Taipei, 1999; Vienna, 2000; Shanghai, 2001; Istanbul, 2003), of the ISH (Cuba, 2001; Santiago, 2003), and of NATO (Istanbul, 1994; The Hague, 1998; Lisboa, 1998; Washington, 2000).


After the good success of the "Iberian" courses (started in 1996), and after the ESTM joint courses in Argentina (2001), Brazil (2002, 2005) and Peru (2010), the possibility of establishment of a Latin-American ESTM-like initiative is currently being discussed.

ISBT Working Group on Paediatric Transfusion Medicine

Contacts are kept with the ISBT Working Group (the idea of which was born during the ESTM course in Napoli in November 2003), in view of a future course on promotion of specific European guidelines.


Collaboration has continued, since its very beginning in 2004, within the Steering Group of the ATMC (Arabic Transfusion Medicine courses) initiative, the ESTM being present at nearly all ATMC courses so far, resulting in a common wish of tighter collaboration for joint activities.

Scout Organisations

After distribution to national scout organisations in every European country of an updated Directory of contact persons and addresses of all donors Institutions (prepared by the ESTM Secretariat and sent to the European Scout Headquarters), work on the scouts/donation project has started in 2005, with the elaboration of short questionnaires to be made available to any European scout groups wishing to analyse the existing prevalence of blood donors among scouts before beginning the promotional campaign for blood donation, for a better evaluation of its results. Interest has been shown by Colleagues involved in ATMC courses, for a promotion of the project in the Eastern-Mediterranean Region.

Association “Birthing Together: Israeli-Palestinian hospital on the border"

At a meeting in Vienna (in November 2006), the ESTM has taken part (its President becoming an ordinary member) in the constitution in Europe of the Association “Birthing Together: Israeli-Palestinian hospital on the border”, aiming to help building up a maternity hospital on the border of the Gaza Strip, where training of the future staff of the Blood Bank through the ESTM has been envisaged.

XII International Symposium on Blood Substitutes (Parma, August 2009)

A fruitful collaboration has started in 2007, at the occasion of an ESTM course, with the University of Parma (Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Prof. Andrea Mozzarelli), on the transmission of knowledge concerning haemoglobin-based oxygen carriers. At the occasion of the XII International Symposium on Blood Substitutes (Parma, August 2009), the ESTM helped moderating a roundtable discussion on the collaboration between researchers and blood donors, with the participation of Italian blood donor Organisations, transfusion specialists and clinicians.

Transfusion Today

An on-going collaboration on educational issues has been developed with the ISBT Bulletin “Transfusion Today”.

Cooperation activities

An ESTM Fellowship Programme has been established, to collect funds in order to enable Colleagues with reduced financial resources to participate in ESTM courses.

A translation of the AABB Technical Manual into Russian has been distributed free (5.000 copies) to doctors and technicians working in blood transfusion, in several Russian-speaking countries, in 1998.

A twinning programme between Romanian and Italian Blood Transfusion Centres started in 1998, in agreement with the WHO and the Romanian Government and thanks to the help of Italian Colleagues, being interrupted due to lack of funds.

SEE Programme: a specific programme of regional Transfusion Medicine integration in South-Eastern Europe, considered as an absolutely essential part of Europe, was started in 2001 and is continuing.

An ESTM triennial (2008-2011) project on “Development of Transfusion Medicine in Albania towards European quality standards” has been approved in September 2007 by the International Cooperation Department of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, started on 2nd April 2008, and was run until April 2011. The programme was based on: twinning of 6 Italian Transfusion Centres for 3 years with their Albanian counterparts, training stages in Italy, promotion of voluntary blood donation in Albania, residential courses in Albania and Europe, and formation courses in Albania.



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