German funded Safe Blood Transfusion Programme

ISLAMABAD: The agreement for the second phase of the German government funded Safe Blood Transfusion Programme (SBTP) was signed here in Islamabad. Wolfgang Moellers, Country Director, German Development Bank (KfW) and Tariq Bajwa, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division signed the Agreement on behalf of the German and Pakistan governments, said a press release.
Explaining the details of the project, Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer, National Coordinator, SBTP, said since 2010, the German Government has supported the implementation of a programme for safe blood transfusion with a volume EUR 17.0 million. Under the phase I of the programme through the KfW funded component, 10 Regional Blood Centers (RBC) have been constructed and 59 Hospital Blood Banks have been equipped in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and provinces.
In addition to the infrastructure development, through the technical component funded by the GIZ, supportive technical work was conducted including development of operational documents, trainings, promotion of voluntary donations, strengthening of legislation and regulatory authorities etc. On the basis of the successful implementation of the Phase I and in order to reach a systemic impact of the blood services reform the German Government has committed an additional funding of EUR 10 million for the Phase II of the programme.
The overall objective of the Program is to provide better access to the population of Pakistan to safe blood transfusion services and blood products. The government of Pakistan is fully committed to ensure the success of this pioneering project and the Prime Minster of Pakistan has granted special tax exemption to this flagship project. The service delivery through the new infrastructure developed in the last five years, estimated to be about 15% of the national effort, will be implemented by the respective provincial Departments of Health with an overall coordination function of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination.
The project plays a vital role in the development of Pakistan’s health system since it aims at taking both public and private hospitals under its umbrella in the new blood transfusion system and at discouraging the current practice of substitutive or paid ad hoc blood donations as it does not assure sufficient quality. APP