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Blood banks to work under licences

Staff at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar work with victims of a terrorist attack. – Photo courtesy Media Cell, Lady Reading Hospital
Staff at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. -Photo courtesy Media Cell, Lady Reading Hospital

LAHORE: The Punjab Blood Transfusion Authority has decided to start registration of the public and private blood banks operating all over the province.

The registration process of the blood banks will start in a few weeks to ensure safe and healthy blood transfusion.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the PBTA on Wednesday. Parliamentary Secretary Health MPA Dr Saeed Elahi chaired the meeting and MPA Dr Asad Ashraf, Additional Secretary Health (technical) Dr Anwar Janjua, Health DG Dr Nisar Ahmad Cheema, PBTA Secretary Dr Jafar Saleem, Maqbool Azam of CMH Lahore and Punjab AIDS Control Programme Director Dr Salman Shahid attended it.

There has been no system to ensure safe blood transfusion at public and private facilities including emergencies of hospitals.

The PBTA chairman told Dawn that the step would help stop substandard screening of the blood and its supply at illegal centres which had turned out to be one of the major sources of spread of diseases like hepatitis C and AIDS.

He said it had been decided to bring all blood banks of Punjab under licensing regime for provision of healthy blood to the patients.

Dr Saeed Elahi said all government and private blood banks in the province would be registered under the Safe Blood Transfusion Act 1999.

The officials decided to constitute blood awareness committees at provincial and district levels to encourage donors. These would include government officials, journalists, social workers and representatives of civil society.

The meeting also decided that strict legal action would be initiated against the violators. Advertisements would be given in newspapers to get applications for registration of all blood banks and the process would be completed in March.

Dr Saeed said committees comprising senior hematologists would be constituted for inspection of blood banks. He said annual licences would be issued to blood banks against a fee and renewed in the light of inspection reports.

A technical committee was also given approval to present its recommendations after observing the Rules of Business of the PBTA.