The Safe Blood Transfusion Project (SBTP) is establishing a network of modern Regional Blood Centers (RBCs) across the country and renovating and upgrading the existing hospital based blood banks (HBBs). The network of RBCs and their linked HBBs are gradually replacing the existing fragmented blood transfusion system in the country. This strategy is consistent with the international recommendations of separation of ‘blood production (in RBCs)’ and ‘blood utilization (in HBBs)’.

In the new centralised blood banking system RBCs are the main sites, i.e. mother ships, responsible for performing donor collection, component preparation, blood processing including blood grouping and infectious disease testing. Blood components are delivered to the linked HBBs according to their needs. At HBB level, blood products are only stored and compatibility testing of patient and donor blood is performed.

Phase I:

In the Phase I of the project (2010-2016), ten (RBCs) were established at Bahawalpur, Multan, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi, Jamshoro, Nawabshah and Sukkur. Each RBC was functionally linked to 6 existing HBBs which were renovated and equipped for this purpose. 59 HBBs were covered in the Phase I.  

Four RBCs are managed by the respective Departments of Health (DoH) in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sindh and Punjab have outsourced their six RBC through public private partnerships. In Punjab, the private partners are the Indus Health Network (IHN) while in Sindh the partners include, the IHN, Sukkur Blood and Drugs Donating Society and the Fatimid Foundation.

Exterior View of Phase 1 RBCs

Interior View of Phase 1 RBCs

Phase II (2016-2020):

In the Phase II of the project five new RBCs are being constructed in Islamabad, Abbottabad, DI Khan, Faisalabad and Skardu. In addition, seven existing large public sector hospital blood banks (HBBs) are being upgraded to RBC standards in Punjab (Mayo Hospital and Lahore General Hospital in Lahore), Sindh (JPMC, Civil and Korangi Hospitals in Karachi), Balochistan (DHQ Hospital, Turbat), and AJK (DHQ Hospital, Mirpur). Two NGO blood banks in Quetta will also be upgraded by providing missing equipment. (Baloch Blood Bank and Pashtoonkhwa Blood Bank). All these RBCs are being covered by the KfW grant funding. RBCs are also being developed in Swat (KP government), Khuzdar, Sibi and Loralai (Balochistan government) from funding within the Phase II PC-1s of provinces.

All these blood centres are being provided laboratory equipment, customised blood bank MIS and IT hardware, and medical and general equipment as well as furniture,

Building designs of the under-construction RBCs of the Phase-II: