ISLAMABAD: Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) in a landmark development has discussed development of the plasma farming facilities (PFF) with United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A UAE mission, which is on a visit to Pakistan, aims to conduct feasibility study for establishment of PFF in Pakistan based on World Health Organisation (WHO) standards as the blood services in country are mostly provided by hospitals’ blood banks with no functional separation of the plasma processes into production and utilisation.

WHO Adviser on Blood Safety Dr Hassan Abbas Zaheer, while talking to Dawn, said that it was a significant development as Pakistan does not have even a single PFF despite the fact that there are a few hundred thousand patients suffering from immunodeficiency disorder.

He said that the term to separate blood components was called “Plasma Fractionation” as blood was initially divided into three components called Platelets, Red Blood Cells and White Blood Cells which floated in a fluid called plasma.

Dr Zaheer, who is also former Project Director of Safe Blood Transfusion Project (SBTP), said that a huge industry was required to do “Plasma Fractionation” and if plasma would be separated Pakistan can meet the requirements of the country and can also export it.

Dr Zaheer said that a large number of donors will be required and industry will be required to do Plasma Fractionation at industrial level.

The statement issued by the Ministry stated a mission comprising of members of the ruling family of Dubai UAE Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, members of Hayat biotech limited, Biotechnology company in the UAE and contractors from China called on Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel on Monday. Secretary Health, Special Secretary Health, Director General Health and representatives from jospitals and blood banks in Islamabad were present on the occasion. Abdul Qadir Patel said Pakistan highly values its relations with UAE adding that collaboration between the two nations in the field of health will be of immense benefit to the people of Pakistan.

He said reforms in blood banking services by ensuring plasma manufacturing from each and every unit of collected whole blood by proper processing and storage will serve as a significant step in health reforms and economic development.

The mission aims to conduct feasibility study for establishment of plasma farming facilities in Pakistan based on WHO standards as the blood services in country are mostly provided by hospital blood banks with no functional separation of the plasma processes into production and utilisation.

The mission will also visit Lahore and Karachi to meet provincial governments and deliberate strengths of the plasma fractioning.

After visit, team will furnish feasibility report for execution of project and later on plasma fractionation establishment shall be considered.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2022

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