Balochistan Blood Transfusion Programme

Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan, covering 44% of the country’s area (347,190 km2) and has a population of 12 million. The Balochistan Health Department has 553 Basic Health Units and 89 Rural Health Centers. It also operates 89 Maternal Child Health Care Centers to provide health services to the scattered population of the province. The provincial capital, Quetta has five public sector hospitals; Bolan Medical Complex, Civil Hospital, Fatima Jinnah Chest & General Hospital, Helper’s Eyes Hospital and Sheikh Khalifah Bin Zayed Hospital. Blood banks exist in the large public hospitals as well as in the private and NGO sector in hospitals and as stand alone blood banks as well as in miscellaneous settings. The number of blood centers is estimated to be 120 which collect approximately 100,000 blood donations every year.  

Government of Pakistan with support from Government of Germany initiated the process of restructuring the blood transfusion system in the country including Balochistan in 2010. The Phase I PC-1 of the province was worth 296.84 million (FEC 77.95 million, LC 219.64 million). In the Phase I of the project, one large modern RBC was developed in Quetta and 6 existing HBBs in Quetta and nearby areas were upgraded and equipped through the German government grant. This infrastructure is now functional and is providing much improved services and safety standards. In the current Phase II of the project 3 blood centers and NGOs are being supported by the German grant and 3 HBBs being upgraded by the provincial funding.  The Phase II PC-1 is worth 343.30 million (FEC 42.70, LC _300.600 million).

The Regional Blood Centre is serving as blood procurement and distribution centre, ensuring quality systems to regulate all activities. Another important role being performed by the Centre is to mobilize voluntary blood donors, collect blood donations and conduct processing, screening, testing, component preparation and storage. The RBC supplies blood and blood components to the linked hospital blood banks which are performing the function of storage, compatibility testing, haemovigilance, and issuance to the wards.

The VNRBD activities in the RBCs are becoming very frequent and gaining momentum. Regular mobile camps are being organized and ‘walk-in donors’ are increasing in numbers. The reliance on family replacement donors is gradually decreasing and the concept of VNRBD is being promoted through blood camps, seminars and other promotional activities.  

Capacity building is a continuous priority of the Programme. Since the operationalization of the RBCs, the new infrastructure has become the hub of training activities. SBTP in collaboration with RBC has organized a number of training activities for all the different levels of workers in the RBCs. The highlight of the workshops has remained the evident enthusiasm of the participants who are always most eager to learn and willing to concentrate for long hours every day in the workshop to enhance their professional skills and knowledge.