Pakistan needs 3mn blood bags annually

Karachi: Provincial Project Manager/Secretary Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA) Dr Zahid Hasan Ansari on Friday stressed the need of promoting voluntary blood donation culture in Pakistan on the patterns of western countries to cater the blood transfusion needs.

He expressed these views while addressing a seminar & awareness program organized by Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA) in connection with the World Blood Donors Day held at local hotel here. The focus of this year’s World Blood Donors Day campaign is “Safe blood for saving mothers.

He said Pakistan needs 3 million blood bags per year to meet the actual requirement of country, but currently only 1.7m blood bags could be collected annually across the country. He said similarly 1.1mn blood bags are needed annually to cater Sindh’s requirement, while only 0.6m collected from different sources in the province. He 70 percent blood is obtained through family members, 20 percent form volunteers and 10 percent from professional blood sellers.

He said professional blood sellers are considered the biggest source of spread of diseases like Hepatitis B & C and HIV prevalence. He said voluntarily blood donation is the safest procedure of blood donation. He stressed the need of promoting the voluntarily blood donation culture in the country to avoid and prevent blood-related diseases.

He informed that 30 illegal blood banks had been closed in 2014, while a total 148 blood banks sealed in the province in last few years due to various irregularities. He said crackdown will continue on the owners of those blood banks who are supplying unsafe blood to people.

Renowned Pathologist Dr Muhammad Akbar Agha said if anyone saves one life, he verily saves the whole humanity. He stressed the need of creating awareness among society regarding blood donations. He said voluntarily blood donation culture should be treated a national duty.

He said all institutions, organizations, general public and government should work together for promotion of voluntarily blood donation culture in the society.

Dr Asar, Dr Munira Burhani and Dr Eiza and representatives of blood banks attended the seminar.

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