Regional Blood Centre Quetta was inaugurated by the then Health Minister Balochistan Mir Rahmat Saleh Baloch on March 8th, 2017. The Quetta Blood Center is one of the 10 RBCs developed by the German government as part of the first phase of establishing of a nationwide network of 10 modern blood centers and an up-grade of 60 existing hospital based blood banks nationwide.
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan, covering 44% of the country’s area (347,190 km2 ) with an estimated 17 million inhabitants representing only 5% of the country’s population. Health care services in Balochistan are provided by public and private providers but the government is by far the main provider and curative services in most rural areas. The DoH has recently formulated a vibrant and active Health Policy and Health Sector Strategy with assistance of Technical Resource Facility (TRF). In the public sector, health services are provided through a tiered referral system of health care facilities; with increasing levels of complexity and coverage from primary, to secondary and tertiary health facilities. Primary care facilities include basic health units (BHUs), rural health centres (RHCs), government rural dispensaries (GRDs), mother and child health (MCH) centres and TB centres. There are 23 district hospitals, 5 divisional hospitals and 5 tertiary care hospitals including Bolan Medical Complex, Sandeman Provincial Hospital, Fatimah Jinnah Chest & General Hospital, Helper’s Eye Hospital, and Sheikh Khalifah bin Zayed Hospital.
The primary level health facilities in the province include Civil Dispensary (567), Basic Health Unit (553), TB Clinic (22), MCH Centre (89), Rural Health Centres (89), and Leprosy Centres (13). Total hospital beds of the public sector are 3,415, i.e. 2,354 persons per bed. Healthcare service delivery in the province is very challenging due to long distances, rugged terrain, dispersed population, slow social progress, security situations, lack of trained HR, scarce funds, etc. The MMR is 785/100,000 live births while the national figures stands at 272/100,000 live births. The progress on MDGs and SDGs has been disappointing in the province including the blood transfusion services. A survey conducted by SBTP in 2016 identified more than 70 blood banks in Quetta itself. Some blood donor services run by a few community based NGOs exist. Most donations are collected from replacement donors, while the proportion of voluntary donors is still extremely low. The budget of the provincial PC-1 Phase I was PKR 297 million through which RBC Quetta was constructed in the premises of Bolan Medical Complex, Quetta with a capacity of processing at least 50,000 blood donations annually. The budget for Phase II of the project is PKR 169 million. In Phase II, BBs in Turbat, Khuzdar, Sibi and Loralai DHQ hospitals will be upgraded and two NGOs in Quetta will also be supported.