The global reach of WUTBA has expanded to include the South African Association of Tissue Banks (SATIBA)  as an Observer Member. SATIBA includes 20 members from diverse organizations which may process corneas, muscle skeletal tissue, heart valves, amnion, skin, gametes, blood and blood products. In pursuit of improvement in local practices, it has provided training courses for individuals involved in all aspects of the industry. The lack of regulatory framework has been described as one of the major challenges currently faced, in particular due to gaps in legislation with the work with blood, blood products (e.g. mesenchymal cells), and gamete banking. Since its establishment, SATIBA has organized a Scientific Conference at two years’ intervals, which have been very successful both in gaining the support from local industry partners as well as by the attendance and positive feedback received. One of the tasks set forth by SATIBA is to extend collaboration beyond the South Africa frontiers and towards the establishment of a future regional tissue banking association; although there is some activity in blood and blood products in the continent, so far very little tissue banking activity has been detected elsewhere in the sub-Sahara region


Sheli Kuperman