Health laboratories in many countries in the Western Pacific Region still face problems in quality management systems, poor equipment maintenance, weak supply chains, a lack of trained staff, inequities between urban and rural areas, poorly organized and coordinated services, and ineffective management of scarce resources. An additional risk to the staff and the community is the laboratories poor biosafety procedures. The Laboratory components of various technical programmes in the WHO Regional Office greatly assist Member States overcome these shortcomings.
For instance, the regional Blood Transfusion Safety program addresses blood safety issues along every link of the "vein-to-vein" transfusion chain, i.e. from the education and recruitment of safe blood donors, through testing and processing, to the safe administration at the patient's bedside. WHO's priority is to support Member States to develop well-organized, nationally coordinated blood transfusion services based on voluntary, non-remunerated blood donations. The goal of the programme is to improve the adequacy and safety of blood and blood products and also to promote its equitable access and rational clinical use.