ISLAMABAD-Safe Blood Transfusion Programme Authority (SBTPA) on Thursday laid the foundation stone of regional blood centre of the capital.

Parliamentary Secretary Health Dr Nausheen Hamid performed the ‘Foundation Stone Laying’ ceremony of the Islamabad Regional Blood Centre on the site. 

The Centre would be constructed and equipped with the support of the German government through KFW-German Development Bank, amounting to Rs175 million (€ 1.6 Million). 

The government of Germany was represented in the ceremony by Dr Marlin Seiburger, Head of Health Division, KfW and Country Director KfW, Wolfgang Moellers and. Zoll from German Embassy. Also present on the occasion were Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer, Project Director, Safe Blood Transfusion Programme, Dr. Masuma Zaidi, Coordinator Health Sector, KfW and Zahid Mahmood Team Leader EPOS, representatives of licensed blood banks in Islamabad, stakeholders and media representatives.

The Islamabad Centre is among the 15 Regional Blood Centres (RBCs) being developed / upgraded in the Phase II of the project through the German government grant worth Rs1.1 Billion (€ 10 million). 

Earlier in the Phase I a nationwide network of 10 RBCs and up-gradation of 59 existing hospital based blood banks was successfully completed with Rs. 1.8 Billion (€ 15 Million). 

She appreciated the presence of the visiting German delegation in the ceremony. The Parliamentary Secretary stated that the present government is fully committed to improve the blood safety standards in the country and the development of a model Regional Blood Center in Islamabad will go a long way in achieving this goal. 

The German delegation leader Dr Sieburger congratulated the Parliamentary Secretary Health for her keen interest in the implementation of the Blood Project and appreciated the government’s commitment to improve access to safe blood. 

Prof. Zaheer, Project Director, SBT Project informed that the facility will serve as a model blood center of the country and cover the entire transfusion needs of the two million residents of the federal capital. 

The facility will be 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. 

A customized MIS has been especially procured for the smooth functioning of the new system. He added that the blood components prepared in this Center will be provided to all public and private sector hospital blood banks in Islamabad. 

On completion of this modern Center, the existing Hospital Blood Banks will be functionally re-modeled and converted into patient oriented hospital transfusion services to perform the function of storage, distribution, compatibility testing and haemovigilance. 

He also thanked the BMZ, KfW & GIZ partners and EPOS-GOPA German consulting companies for closely coordinating with the SBT Project and implementing the challenging project in a very professional and committed manner.