KARACHI, May 16: Pakistan is among those low-income bracket countries which awfully suffer from lack of blood donors, as just 28 of 10,000 of people donate their blood, a seminar on transfusion medicine update was told on Thursday.

The seminar was organised by the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) in the Dow Medical College auditorium to discuss blood transfusion and related problems in Pakistan and to mobilise voluntary blood donation.

The seminar was attended by professors, senior faculty members, doctors, paramedics and students.

Dr Tahir Shamsi, a professor of haematology, speaking on the blood component therapy said blood transfusion had become very safe during the last two decades.“Globally 92 million blood donations are made annually, 50 per cent donations are made in high-income countries encompassing just 15pc of the world population,” he said.

He said 364/10,000 people donated blood in high-income countries, 116/10,000 people in middle-income countries and 28/10,000 people donated blood in low-income countries, which included Pakistan.

According to him, 31pc blood collected was separated into components in low-income countries compared to 91pc in high-income countries.

The WHO recommends that all donated blood must be screened for HCV, HBV, HIV, syphilis and malaria.

Dr Shamsi said the collection of blood from voluntary donors and employment of properly trained staff in blood banks would further help in minimising adverse events associated with blood transfusion therapy.

Prof Masood Hameed Khan, vice chancellor of the DUHS, said the university established Dr Ishratul Ibad Institute of Blood Diseases on its Ojha Campus realising the need for blood and its components.

Besides, he said, the DUHS had initiated a sustainable learning platform for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training with service delivery in blood transfusion and transplantation sciences.

“The aim of establishing these facilities is to mobilise voluntary blood donation with perspective of safe, efficacious blood and blood components supply services to all patients,” he said.

Dr Khan said donating blood was not only helping the ailing humanity, but it also prevented the person from various diseases including HIV and hepatitis B and C. He said the university was working hard to mobilise voluntary blood donors to cater to blood demand.

Dr Zahid Hasan Ansari, manager of the Sindh blood transfusion programme of the Sindh government, took a ‘commendable’ step to regulate and discipline blood transfusion activity and enacted the law called the Sindh Transfusion of Safe Blood Act, 1997.

“The function of the authority is to adopt and develop a uniform policy covering all aspects of safe blood transfusion, register and issue licences to blood banks in the prescribed manner, ensure bio-safety measures according to the WHO’s guidelines and monitor the working of blood banks and carry out periodical inspection,” he said.

Dr Zainab Mukhtar spoke on adverse transfusion reactions and its management and said transfusion reaction was an unfavourable transfusion-related event occurring in a patient during or after transfusion of blood components.

Prof Akber Agha and Dr Ashraf Memon also spoke.

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