Government of Pakistan, with financial and technical assistance from Government
of Germany initiated reorganization of the fragmented blood transfusion
services into a National Blood Transfusion System in accordance with WHO
recommendations. After reform the system consists of two main components:
Regional Blood Centers as production units on the one hand, and Hospital Blood
Banks which use the blood products for patient care on the other hand. This
separation of functions is in line with international standards and
recommendations and contributes to quality, safety, cost effectiveness and
adequate supply of blood. The legal framework has beenupdated accordingly and
Blood Transfusion Authorities have been revived for the overall regulation of
“Regional Blood Centre” is a modern blood centre that is responsible for
various aspects of collection and testing of human blood or blood components,
and their processing, storage, and distribution when intended for transfusion.
The RBCs are responsible to procure, process, and distribute blood and blood
components. The basic functions of an RBC include mobilization, motivation and
retention of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors; on-site and mobile blood
collections; mandatory testing (TTI markers) and blood-grouping of donated
blood; blood component preparation and storage; distribution of blood and blood
components to the related hospital blood banks (HBB); appropriate documentation
(donor traceability, haemovigilance); and research and development.RBCs will
follow the principles of Good Manufacturing and Laboratory Practices (GMP &
The RBCsare equipped with
modern, sophisticated and fully computerized medical equipment as well as well
trained and qualified staff to ensure the safe transfusion of blood as per the
international standards. The facility is a procurement and distribution center
ensuring quality systems to regulate all activities including mobilization and
retention of voluntary blood donors, maintenance of donor database, collection
of blood donations and processing, screening, testing, component preparation
and storage of the prepared components. The blood is collected from family
replacement donors and voluntary blood donors on walk-in basis as well as
through blood camps arranged by the donor motivation and recruitment teams of
RBC visiting educational institutions, offices and other public places. The
collected blood is then screened for Hepatitis B, C, AIDS, Syphilis and malaria
and at least three blood components are produced from one blood unit.
Functions of a Regional Blood Centre
1. Mobilization, motivation and retention
of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors;
2. On-site and mobile blood collections;
3. Mandatory testing (TTI markers) and
blood-grouping of donated blood;
4. Blood component preparation and
5. Distribution of blood and blood
components to the related hospital blood banks (HBB);
RBC has various numbers of Hospital Blood Banks (HBBs) linked with it. As per
the National Blood Policy,an HBB is a hospital unit which receives and stores
screened blood and blood components from the respective RBC. It then performs
blood grouping and compatibility testing prior to issuing the blood and blood
components for clinical use within the hospital.
safety of blood transfusion as a medical intervention does not only depend on
the safety of the blood product but also on the safety of the clinical
transfusion process and appropriate indications for transfusion. Hospital blood
banks link blood centers (responsible for the product) clinicians (responsible
for the transfusion), and the patient who receives the blood.
Functions of a Hospital Blood Bank
Storage of blood and blood
Patient blood grouping and
Detection and identification
of atypical antibodies in patient serum.
Issuance of blood and
blood products on clinicians advise.
Traceability and haemovigilance.
Proactive role of hospital
following chart depicts systematic functioning of HBB.
the 1st Phase of the Programme (2010-2016), 10 RBCs (5 RBCs of
20,000 collections/year and 5 RBCs of 50,000 collections/year) were built and
equipped across the country. In addition, 59 existing HBBs were renovated and
upgraded and linked to their respective RBCs.
Based on the impressive project implementation, despite constitutional and administrative challenges, the German government committed to finance the SBTP Phase II, with an additional grant of € 10M through the KfW.In the current Phase II, the scope and scale of the Project is being further expanded (construction of 5 new RBCs and up-gradation of 23 hospital based blood banks) and the gains of the Phase I are being consolidated. The current Phase II of the national project will end in December 2020.