ISLAMABAD - The World Health Organization (WHO) has mobilised funds worth US dollars 7.8 million for the procurement of blood screening kits for HIV, hepatitis B and C to provide free screening services in all transfusion centres.
Safe Blood Transfusion Services Programme (SBTSP) Project Director Dr Hasan Abbas Zaheer, while talking to APP on Friday, said that the WHO had recently launched this new project to ensure quality screening of all blood that is collected and transfused in the country. He said in Pakistan the WHO has been working with the national program since its inception on all issues of policy, advocacy, development of standards and protocols, training of health care providers, and monitoring and evaluation. He said WHO is working to support the national and provincial blood transfusion programs in providing them technical support to build systems that could ensure availability of quality assured blood.
Dr Abbas Zaheer said that the government has planned to upgrade 78 blood banks in all provinces for having standard blood transfusion services for citizens. He said under the project 13 regional blood transfusion centres will be set up besides initiating programs to encourage people for blood donation. He said there is also a plan to conduct national level survey to know the number of blood banks functioning in the country, their standard and services being provided at these banks. He said after this survey the government will start working on streamlining these banks besides looking after others aspects like improving testing services and pricing mechanism of blood laboratories.
He said like other parts of the world, there is also a plan to have national level institution to maintain the standard of blood banks functioning in the country. He observed there is no national voluntary blood donation programme that could recruit and retain donors. He added efforts are being made to ensure access of every person to safe blood for transfusion.
Dr Abbas Zaheer said nearly 98 percent of blood donations in Pakistan are from family donors giving blood as replacement to the ones transfused to their relatives or friends. This situation needs to be changed as World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners discourage this form of donation while encouraging voluntary unpaid donations, he added. He said it is imperative that the national and provincial blood transfusion programs develop their own system and mechanism of developing programs to encourage and retain voluntary blood donors and keep a regular supply of healthy blood for those in need of it.
Reception for Academy of Letters chief on 24th: A reception and Mehfil-e-Mushaira will be held in honour of Academy of Letters Chairman Abdul Hameed at Jinnah Hall in Talagang on June 24.
The reception to be presided over by renowned poetess and journalist, Shahida Latif, will be organized by Literary Organization, ‘Dhandara’. A number of literary and social figures including Naseem Sehar, Sabir Hussain Sabir, Haji Ghulam Mursaleen Aajiz and Malik Asad Ali will participate. Chairman, Dhandara, Safdar Shaid Malik will deliver a key note address while Chief Organizer, Shafqat Malik will welcome the guests. Eminent poets from Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Chakwal and Talagang Shakila will enthral the audience with their poetry.