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IBTA ‘fails to upgrade’ blood banks of public sector hospitals

Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority (IBTA) has remained unsuccessful in up-grading the blood banks of public sector hospitals despite the fact that its role has been revived since 2011, an official told The Nation on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the legal role of IBTA and Safe Blood Transfusion Program (SBTP) is also a riddle. The national level program (SBTP) is working under Ministry of Capital Administration & Development Division (CADD) while the city project (IBTA) is being run by Ministry of National Health Services (NHS).

However, both programs at national and city level are being headed by a same official.

All three public sector hospitals of the city including Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSC) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) are being administered by Ministry of CADD.

Influx of patients in these public sector hospitals have increased in last few years but IBTA has not taken any step for up-gradation of blood banks there.

“The authority comes for check and balance, but has contributed nothing in up-gradation of the banks to enhance their capacity,” the official said.

The official informed The Nation that hospitals are relying on the minimum amount allocated for the hospital blood banks while IBTA has remained uncooperative in brining the change in structure of the hospitals blood banks.

“Up-gradation of machines, beds and technical training of the hospital staff remained least concerned area for IBTA in last eight years,” said the official.

Official also informed The Nation that SBTP is also included the vertical programs being run under ministry of NHS; however, Ministry of CADD whose jurisdiction is limited up to federal city is running the program.

“On the other hand, IBTA is limited in the federal city and is being run by NHS,” said the official.

In the meeting held at NHS, it was decided to handover the administrative control of SBTP to NHS; however, the implementation remained suspended and control of IBTA was given to NHS, said the official.

“Role of ministry of NHS has been as restricted, as it has not appointed the head of IBTA till now,” official added.

Talking to The Nation head of SBTP and IBTA Prof Dr Hassan Abbas Zaheer said that the authority has done much work in last few years for regulation of blood transfusion system in the city.

He said around 20 new licenses have been given to blood banks in the city while six were suspended on providing substandard blood on franchises.

Eleven blood banks were in public sector while nine in private sides.

“The authority maintained maximum quality in its inspections of the blood banks,” he said.

PIMS has the largest blood bank in the city following Shifa International Hospital, Polyclinic and CDA hospital, while 68,000 donations were received this year.

He also said that the authority conducted trainings for the technical support of the public sector hospitals.

He also stated that 10 regional blood centres with the collaboration of German government are being established in the country and one would be in the federal capital.

“The ground-breaking of the centre has been done and all hospitals will be attached with regional blood centre to facilitate the hospital blood banks,” he said.

Dr Hassan Abbas also said that there is no confusion between the role of IBTA and SBTP working under different ministries.

“CADD is delivering services while NHS is regulating the program,” he said.

The German government contributed 15 million Euros for the construction of 10 Regional Blood Centres (RBCs), the up-gradation and renovation of 59 hospital blood banks, training of blood services personnel and the financing of voluntary blood donor motivation campaigns.

IBTA Technical expert Usman Waheed informed The Nation that new laws were introduced to enhance coordination between all blood transfusion authorities in the country.

According to IBTA annual report 2016 there were still some hospitals in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) where fresh frozen plasma and platelets remained un-utilised due to non-prescription of the same by the clinicians.

IBTA encouraged the licensed blood banks to collaborate with each other to reduce the wastage of blood and meet the demand of components in larger hospital blood banks.

In charge blood bank at FGSH Dr Sharif Astori said that there is a need of creating awareness regarding blood donation in the country.

“The authority must focus on rural areas to increase volunteer blood donations,” he said.

Basharat, Rahul. IBTA ‘fails to upgrade’ blood banks of public sector hospitals. The Nation, June 14, 2017.

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