SANBS operations chief appointed as head of international body

The Chief Operations Officer of the South African Blood Service (SANBS), Ravi Reddy, has been installed as President of the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT) at its 34th International Congress, currently underway in Dubai.

The ISTB, a scientific body for transfusion medicine professionals, was established in 1935 as a platform for exchanging knowledge and advancing blood transfusion practice. Its membership spans more than 100 countries.

Mr Reddy has served SANBS for more than 30 years and manages the day-to-day operations of an organisation that collects, tests, processes and distributes more than 800 000 units of donated blood a year.

A medical technologist with an MBA from the University of Natal, Mr Reddy played a critical role in forging a single national blood service from seven regional services. He also provided leadership in shaping SANBS’s strategy for ensuring a consistent and safe blood supply in the country most severely affected by the global HIV epidemic.

“It is always satisfying to receive a vote of confidence from your professional peers and I feel privileged to serve the society as President,” Mr Reddy said. “But this is genuinely a case where the honour is shared. Without SANBS’s professionalism and reputation for excellence, I would never have been considered for the position.”

Mr Reddy represented the African region on the board of the ISBT between 2006 and 2012. He currently serves on the society’s Working Party on Transfusion and Transmissible Infections and is an executive committee member of the African Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT). He has presented and published a large number of scientific papers and co-authored the World Health Organisation’s publication on screening donated blood for transfusion-transmissible diseases.