National coordinator says first phase of establishing centres almost complete
ISLAMABAD: The German government has pledged €10 million Euros (€) for the implementation of the second phase of the Pakistan Safe Blood Transfusion programme.
Talking to The Express Tribune, National Coordinator Safe Blood Transfusion Programme Prof Hasan Abbas Zaheer said the agreement for the second phase of the programme has been submitted by the German government and is being processed by the Economic Affairs Division.
“It is expected that the agreement will be signed soon. Implementation would start soon after the process is complete,” he said, adding that the Pakistani government is contributing an equal amount for the project.
Sharing details he said the first phase of the programme started in 2010 and is almost complete. The first phase was also funded by the German government and focused on strengthening the infrastructure. Around 70 new blood transfusion centres were established in the first phase across the country and now in the second phase availability of effective service delivery will be ensured in all these centres,” he said.
Prof Zaheer further informed that the achievements of the first phase will be shared in the upcoming three-day international conference on Safe Blood Transfusion, scheduled to be held from October 9 in Islamabad.
Since 2010, Pakistan has made all out efforts to promote a modern national blood transfusion system across the country and has far achieved half of the target so far, he said.
Sharing some of the challenges Pakistan is facing in terms of ensuring safe blood transfusion he said there is a need to increase the trend of voluntary blood donations.
Hardly 10 per cent of Pakistanis donate blood voluntarily, which needs to be increased manifold, he said.
On the other hand, there is a need to ensure that all blood transfusion centres should ensure proper screening in order to prevent spread of communicable diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV, among others, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.