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Blood bank security

Brief description of the program

Description: Blood bank security in Pakistan (all provinces and territories plus Asad Jammu and Kashmir
Client: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Pakistan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Health of Pakistan; Health ministries of all provinces and territories as well as the semi-autonomous region of Asad Jammu and Kashmir
Total duration: 2009 to 2015

initial situation

A well-functioning blood transfusion system is one of the essential services of the health system and can save many human lives. Half of all people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their life. Women with high-risk pregnancies as well as anemia and trauma patients in particular benefit from an improved blood transfusion system.

The Pakistani blood transfusion system is neither well organized nor uniformly regulated. Blood and blood products are only occasionally produced by blood banks operated by state services or private companies. The blood banks are only subject to unsystematic government quality control and do not always meet the requirements for patient care. The level of qualification of those working in the blood transfusion sector varies greatly depending on the laboratory. In addition, blood products are often used improperly. As a result of these deficiencies, the administered blood products are of insufficient quality and in some cases even contaminated. This increases the risk of transmitting infectious diseases such as HIV / AIDS, but particularly hepatitis B and C, which are transmitted through blood. In Pakistan there is no systematic provision of safe blood transfusions to the population.


The population has access to safe blood transfusion services and blood products. Above all, there are more registered and licensed state blood banks and a greater number of voluntary blood donors. The number of properly tested blood products and blood banks has increased, and a greater number of patients are receiving blood components whose quality meets WHO standards.


The program advises Pakistan on the creation of the legal framework for a safe blood transfusion system as well as on the practical introduction of these services in the provinces. In the administrative area, business plans are drawn up and a uniform information system is developed to record the data relevant to the blood transfusion system. The program supports the development and training of health care workers and examines possible approaches to building a blood banking system based on voluntary blood donation.

Effect - what has been achieved so far

The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) has developed a national strategic framework for blood transfusion services in Pakistan for the period from 2008 to 2012. This was officially approved in March 2009. On the basis of this strategic framework, the NBTS has drawn up and promulgated a federal law on the blood transfusion system that provides guidelines for legislative reforms at the provincial level. In addition, the NBTS has set up a national steering committee and compiled a list of the teaching and training institutions currently in existence. A survey on blood donation knowledge, attitudes and practices was conducted in one district, while quality management teachers were trained at the federal level. The first quality management courses have already been held in Sindh and Punjab. The NBTS recently drew up a functional description for the establishment of regional blood transfusion centers and initiated the necessary measures to set up a national platform for voluntary, unpaid blood donation.