Health Minister Receives Briefing On Safe Blood Transfusion Programme

Health Minister receives briefing on Safe Blood Transfusion Programme

Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Aamer Mahmood Kiani on Tuesday received briefing on German government funded Safe Blood Transfusion Programme (SBTP) and the regulation of the blood transfusion sector.

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th Oct, 2018 ) :Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Aamer Mahmood Kiani on Tuesday received briefing on German government funded Safe Blood Transfusion Programme (SBTP) and the regulation of the blood transfusion sector.

The briefing was given by National Coordinator SBTP and Chairman, Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority (IBTA) Prof Hasan Abbas Zaheer.

The minister appreciated the achievements of the programme which despite many challenges successfully completed the implementation of the first phase of the project in which a nationwide infrastructure has been created consisting of construction and equipping of a network of 10 modern Regional Blood Centres, and renovating and refurbishing 60 existing hospital blood banks.

This infrastructure is now functional and providing quality transfusion services to the people of the region. Currently, the Phase-II of the project is in progress, with the continuing assistance from the German KFW Development Bank, in which the scope and coverage of the project is being expanded in addition to strengthening the gains of the first phase particularly the smooth operationalization of the newly developed infrastructure.

It is estimated that after the completion of the Phase-II of the project in 2019, about 35% coverage of the national service delivery will be through the new system. The minister will soon visit one of the centers and inspect the new service delivery system.

Prof Zaheer also briefed the minister about the working of the Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority (IBTA) and said that as a result of the sustained and committed efforts of the IBTA leadership the blood regulation has been streamlined in the Federal capital.

He said that currently 18 public and private sector blood banks have been granted licenses, five are registered and five have been closed down due to poor standards.

The minister was briefed in detail about the revived IBTA which has developed a very successful model of regulation based on constructive non-punitive approach.

As a result now all the blood banks in Islamabad have all essential required equipment while the trend of automation is increasing and all blood collected is processed into three blood components.

He added that there is 100% automated screening for Hepatitis B, C and HIV, automated cross-matching is performed in the larger blood banks and the documentation standards have improved considerably.

In addition, there is improved sensitization of voluntary blood donation and blood safety and the trend of voluntary blood donation is increasing. The IBTA regularly organizes activities to strengthen the capacity building of the blood bank personnel and there is an excellent and close coordination between the regulator and the service providers.

He said that the IBTA is also coordinating with the provincial counterparts to strengthen the provincial blood regulatory authorities.

The minister termed the achievements of the blood transfusion service delivery and regulatory sector as remarkable and lauded the efforts of Prof Zaheer in pioneering the blood safety systems reforms in Pakistan.

He underscored the significance of the preventive aspect in healthcare especially blood transfusion and committed full support of the new government for strengthening the blood transfusion system in the country.

He appreciated the support provided by the German government through KFW Development Bank to create the new blood transfusion system in Pakistan and expressed the new government's desire to see continuation in this successful Pak-German collaboration.

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