islamabad - After confirmation of HIV virus in two siblings, the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) has decided to launch crackdown on illegal blood transfusion centres in the city.

Talking to The Nation, an official on condition of anonymity said that Minister CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry was briefed by officials of three major public sector hospitals, including the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Polyclinic and Capital Development Administration (CDA) hospital on blood transfusion process being performed in the capital hospitals.

The official said it was informed that 19 blood banks in the city being privately operated needed strict monitoring while private clinics specifically functional at under developed areas will come under crackdown. He also stated that all hospital officials were directed to play more pro-active role in provision of safe blood transfusion.

“CADD will make liaison with district administration to initiate crackdown on illegal blood transfusion,” official said.

Talking to The Nation, Executive Director (ED) CDA hospital Fayyaz Lodhi stated that siblings infected with HIV positive have been referred to AIDS centre and are not in the hospital.

He also confirmed that it was suggested in the meeting to take action against private medical blood banks involved in illegal transfusion.

According to DR Lodhi, the CADD minister was briefed about the finding of inquiry committee constituted to determine the cause of HIV virus infection in minors admitted to the hospital.

He informed the minister that hospital spent around Rs2.5 million on the treatment of both children while according to the hospital’s record the children were not infected with the virus because of blood transfusions held in CDA hospital. He informed that both children received around 46 blood transfusions in the capital hospital.

Meanwhile, Administrator PIMS briefed about the available blood screening and transfusion techniques in the hospital.

Talking to The Nation, Dr Altaf Hussain said that PIMS has latest blood screening and transfusion equipment and thousands of patients are treated at the Thalassaemia Centre.

He said that it is early to comment on the action against private blood banks but illegal blood transfusions prevention was discussed in the briefing.

Children infected from virus received largest number of transfusions from PIMS Thalassaemia Centre which according to an estimate were 1400 collectively. He said that PIMS blood bank has a very modern and advanced blood screening system and all blood donations are screened on this system.

Dr Altaf also said that people seek transfusion facility in private places because of their own convenience while PIMS is providing the treatment to every patient who visits the hospital. Around 150-200 patients daily receive blood components from PIMS.

However, an expert on blood transfusion said that there is need of solid policy regarding establishing of Thalassaemia Centre in the federal capital and implementation on the strict policy of blood screening.

“Not only private blood banks and clinics but screening kits in the government hospitals should also be also checked,” he added.

Two minors naming Kairal and Nehmia are suffering from Glanzmann Thrombasthenia, a form of thalassemia were diagnosed with HIV positive in November. Father of the children is employee of CDA hospital and resident of Bara Kahu area. Father Nadeem Bhatti had admitted that his children were given blood transfusion from multiple public and private sector blood banks.