PESHAWAR: The health department has regularised the services of the contractual employees of three regional blood centres in the province saying the initiative will help promote blood donations to save the lives of the people with critical injuries, undergoing surgeries in hospitals or suffering from blood disorders.

The centres are functioning in Swat, Dera Ismail Khan and Abbottabad districts with each other them being staff by 45 people.

Health secretary Mohammad Tahir Orakzai told Dawn that the regularisation of the three RBCs’ employees would promote the cause of blood donation and ensure smooth surgeries.

He said employees of those centres had attended training programmes to increase collection from voluntary donors and cope with blood shortages.

Health secy says move will help promote blood donation to save lives

The secretary said Dera Ismail Khan and Abbottabad RBCs were established a year ago with the financial support of German Bank KfW to provide blood to the patients admitted to regional hospitals.

He said the government was taking measures to strengthen health services in the province in line with international standards to save lives.

Mr Orakzai said the Swat RBC had arranged blood for 75,000 patients, including more than 1,000 admitted to two thalaessemia centres in Malakand division, during the last one year.

He said the Swat centre also supplies blood to patients in Saidu Group of Teaching Hospitals, Mian Gul Abdul Haq Kidney Hospital Manglower, Sinor Cancer Hospital and other health facilities in the nearby districts, while the Abbottabad centre was serving patients in hospitals of Hazara division.

The secretary said the government wanted to motivate more and more people to donate blood to save lives.

“The performance of RBCs has been very good. We hope the regularisation of their staff members will improve the quality of their work,” he said urging the people to donate blood ‘generously’.

When contacted, project director of the Safe Blood Transfusion, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Shams Afridi said the number of the Swat RBC’s employees would be increased from 45 to 85 in near future as several hospitals and charity centres in the region needed more blood.

“Even in Ramazan, we collect 100 points of blood every night in Swat, which means that voluntary donations are increasing. Our slogan that ‘one bag saves three lives’ is meant to sensitise the people to the significance of donating blood,” he said.

Dr Afridi said the programme was focusing on the involvement of students for blood collection on a voluntarily basis for provision to critical patients and those needing major surgeries was getting response.

“We are working hard to scale up public awareness as a lack of voluntary blood donation is a main issue. The Abbottabad and Dera Ismail Khan centres aren’t receiving enough donations, so we are organising camps in colleges and universities to improve the situation with regard to blood donation,” he said.

Officials in the health department said the government wanted RBCs to speed up the campaign and address blood shortages in hospitals.

They said the Peshawar RBC, which was established four years ago, didn’t receive donations in the required quantity.

The officials said only students or relatives of patients donated blood in exchange on replacement basis.

They said the Peshawar RBC collected 48,003 blood bags from donors in 2020 and 43,049 (89.68 per cent) of them were the relatives of patients with just 4,954 bags (10.32 per cent) coming in from volunteers.

The officials said the people had the misconception that blood donation caused physical weakness and diseases though the medical science had showed that healthy people could donate blood every three months.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Sindh LG poll mess
Updated 28 Jun, 2022

Sindh LG poll mess

The ECP and the Sindh government share the blame for the electoral mismanagement witnessed on Sunday.
State apathy
28 Jun, 2022

State apathy

The minister would do well to revisit his stance before further damage is done to the fight for civil rights.
Lofty but fragile
28 Jun, 2022

Lofty but fragile

PAKISTAN is set for its busiest mountaineering season in over a decade, with over 1,400 climbers from across the...
LNG crisis
Updated 27 Jun, 2022

LNG crisis

Global LNG shortages have sent the fuel’s price spiralling to record highs.
Bloc politics
27 Jun, 2022

Bloc politics

USING the platform of the 14th BRICS Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made some interesting observations...
KCR dream
27 Jun, 2022

KCR dream

RAILWAYS Minister Saad Rafique has basically clarified what many a commuter in Karachi has known for long: true and...