PESHAWAR: The health department will establish more blood centres in seven districts to provide transfusion services to patients at the tehsil and district level hospitals.

A concept note has been sent to health secretary by the director of Safe Blood Transfusion (SBT) project to seek establishment of blood centres at local level to cope with the load of patients in hospitals and children with blood-borne ailments, who required blood on consistent basis for their survival.

The letter said that regional blood centres (RBCs), established in Peshawar, Swat, Abbottabad and Dera lsmail Khan with assistance of Germany, were functioning smoothly by providing services to people in the respective regions and beyond.

It said that the services provided to people in the districts were as per international standards. It added that blood was the only life-saving stuff during emergencies.

Officials say upgradation of blood services an ongoing programme

It said that Central Development Working Party in its meeting in September 2109 directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to increase coverage of safe blood transfusion services from its own resources.

The concept note has been sent to department to provide Safe Blood Transfusion Services in seven major populated districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Bannu, Charsadda, Dir Lower, Kohat, Mansehra, Mardan and Swabi.

The director of SBT project said that it should be included in third phase of Safe Blood Transfusion Programme in next Annual Development Programme of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The proposed project will cost Rs1.3 billion in first year (2022-23) and can be forwarded beyond with Rs800 million and Rs400 million in second and third year, respectively.

The project is meant to ensure access of people to safe blood transfusion and its products at the district level hospitals. Blood banks will be upgraded in district and tehsil headquarters hospitals that will act as umbrella by keeping contact with all banks. According to the plan, community mobilisation for donating blood to the needy patients is at the centre of the strategy to register voluntary non-remunerated donors, who are less prone to infections via transfusion.

The plan includes recruitment of volunteers to mobilise people at community level for donation of blood. The health staff will be trained on rational and appropriate clinical use of blood to reduce mortality and morbidity and ensure 100 per cent quality assured testing for transfusion-transmissible infections including HIV, Hepatitis B and C viruses, malaria and syphilis.

Three products are manufactured from one bag of blood and benefit as many patients, mostly children suffering from blood-related diseases. With the new centres, all major hospitals at district and tehsil level will have the facility to extract multiple blood-products from a single bag.

Officials said that upgradation of blood services was an ongoing programme to expand blood services and due to which four RBCs were operating in Peshawar, Swat and Dera Ismail Khan.

They said that it was related to Sustainable Development Goal (goal 3) which included Pakistan Health Policy 2001 and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Policy 2018-25. It was among the 100-day agenda of five-year plan of the department. They said the project was submitted on directives of highups as government wanted to set up more centres.

“We can treatment seriously-ill people thorough timely transfusion in surgeries and critically-injured patients at their native areas. We have trained staff and infrastructure,” said the officials.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2022

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