Four blood transfusion centers still non-operational

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As many as four regional blood transfusion centres (RBTCs) in Sindh province could not be made operational yet despite the passage of several months due to lack of seriousness of Sindh health department authorities, it was learned on Tuesday.

The establishment of four regional blood transfusion centers had been planned about four years ago with the financial assistance of Germany-GIZ and KFW (German development bank). The construction work of four regional blood transfusion centers – each in Karachi, Jamshoro, Nawabshah and Sukkur – has been delayed due to unknown reason. The provincial health department also could not announce final date for opening of these blood transfusion centres.

An official at the health department told PPI that construction work on four regional blood transfusion centres was started in 2012 and the project was supposed to complete in 2015. He further said that the centres would mobilise voluntary blood donors and conduct processing, screening, testing, component preparation and storage of blood. He said the four RBTCs would cover the entire province once they were made functional.

He informed that a regional blood transfusion center would be linked with six hospital-based blood banks (HBBBs). He said the RBTC in Karachi had been constructed in Qatar Hospital, Orangi, which would have the capacity of 50,000 blood bags while the capacity in other RBTCs would be 20,000 blood bags.

Provincial Programme Manager and Secretary Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA) Dr Zahid Hasan Ansari, while talking to PPI, said that the construction work of all four regional blood banks had been completed by 30th of May 2016 and these centers would be made operational soon under public-private partnership.