Parliamentary Health Secretary Dr Saeed Elahi on Wednesday said all blood banks will be registered and regulated to ensure transfusion of healthy blood to patients.
This would help prevent fatal diseases like hepatitis C and AIDS from spreading, he said at a meeting of the Punjab Blood Transfusion Authority (PBTA). The meeting was attended by MPA Dr Asad Ashraf, Additional Health (technical) Secretary Dr Anwar Janjua, Health DG Dr Nisar Ahmed Cheema, PBTA Secretary Dr Jaffar Saleem among others.
Dr Elahi said all the blood banks would be registered under the Safe Blood Transfusion Act 1999. Blood awareness committees comprising official, media and civil society persons would be constituted to encourage people to donate blood, he said.
Only licensed blood banks will be allowed to store blood for transfusions, he said. Strict legal action would be initiated against violators, Dr Elahi said.
Participants of the meeting said the PBTA would place advertisements in newspapers asking for applications for registration of blood banks. The process should be completed by March, they said. Blood banks would be able to register for free online and at the PBTA secretary’s office. Dr Elahi said committees comprising senior haematologists will inspect all blood banks and their reports will determine whether a bank receives its license or not. Members at the meeting decided to grant the PBTA secretary the authority to run the Blood Transfusion Authority as an institution. The licence for blood banks would be renewed annually after an inspection.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2013.